State Street Research & Management Company recently announced that Ajay Mehra will join the firm as head of equity research in early August. He will report to C. Kim Goodwin, chief investment officer - equities.

Mehra will lead the firm's fundamental equity research, as well as assume the role of lead portfolio manager for the State Street Research Health Sciences Fund.

He has eight years of experience in the financial services sector, in addition to an academic background. Most recently he served as a senior vice president and portfolio manager for Boston-based Columbia Management Group, the investment subsidiary of FleetBoston. Prior to that he worked at Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York, where he was an equity research analyst.

"His unique experiences as an academic and an investment practitioner--with applied experience on both the buyside and the sellside, provides him with an investment perspective that has benefited him greatly throughout his career, "Goodwin said in a statement. "We believe that Ajay is the most qualified candidate for this role and expect superior results from him for our clients and shareholders."

From 1986 to1996 he was a senior management trainee for Usha International and a corporate planning officer at Indian Oil Corp., both in New Delhi. He was also an assistant professor of Strategic Management at West Virginia University's College of Business and Economics.

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