Offitbank co-founder and managing director Stephen Shapiro has defected to New York-based hedge fund manager Satellite Asset Management. Offitbank, acquired by Wachovia Corp. in September of 1999, has seen a number of recent high-level departures.

Brian Kriftcher, a spokesman for Satellite, said, "His decision to leave was entirely amicable."

Shapiro starts officially September 1 as a principal and portfolio manager. "Steve Shapiro's investment style and risk management approach are an excellent fit for Satellite," said Lief Rosenblatt, a founding principal of Satellite, in a statement. "We are fortunate to have him join us."

A source familiar with the situation said that Wachovia has been eliminating positions at Offitbank that are similar to existing positions at its Winston-Salem parent. However, the source speculated that Shapiro's departure is not related to these cuts.

But the same may not be true for former Offitbank employees Ralph Sinsheimer and Stephen Wells, who held marketing and legal positions that were redundant with positions at Wachovia the source said.

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