Waddell & Reed Financial announced today that its COO, Robert Hechler, will retire at the end of the year. Hechler, who turns 65 this month, has been with the firm since 1968 when he joined as treasurer.

Waddell & Reed will not replace Hechler, according to the company. Instead, his responsibilities will be distributed among Thomas Butch, chief marketing officer, Michael Strohm, chief operations officer , John Sundeen, CFO, and Robert Williams, national sales manager.

Hechler also served as president of Waddell and Reed’s broker/dealer subsidiary. Strohm will assume that title once Hechler retires at the end of 2001.

After retirement, Hechler will remain on the boards of directors of Waddell & Reed Financial and the Waddell & Reed mutual fund families. He is also a member of the board of governors of the Investment Company Institute.

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