Putnam Investments has named industry veteran Stephen Jenks head of products and marketing for its defined contribution business.

In this position, Jenks will focus both on Putnam's full-service and investment-only retirement offerings, reporting to Director of Defined Contribution Services Edmund F. Murphy III.

Jenks joins Putnam from Acceleration Retirement, where he was chief executive officer and a co-founder. Acceleration Retirement is a marketing and lead generation outsourcing firm that partners with financial services companies.

Before that, Jenks co-founded and served as managing director of registered investment advisory firm Stable Two Financial, providing 401(k) plan consulting services to mid-large size plan sponsors.

Earlier, Jenks worked at Fidelity Investments for 16 years, including as senior vice president at the Fidelity Institutional Retirement Services Company. He also was chief marketing officer of Fidelity's Emerging Corporate Market division, which sold and serviced retirement and payroll products, including 401(k) plans, to small- and mid-sized companies.

"Putnam has deepened its commitment to the defined contribution market during the past three years and is transforming how plan sponsors and participants think about retirement savings," Murphy said. "Steve's leadership capabilities, entrepreneurial skills and experience working with the industry's biggest players will help us continue to innovate and showcase Putnam's full suite of 401(k) services and solutions."

In addition, Putnam has promoted Meredith Wolff from regional 401(k) director for New England to defined contribution national accounts manager, with responsibility for several important broker-dealer relationships. She has also held senior roles at Principal Financial and Fidelity Investments.

Wolff joins Christopher Doucet, a senior defined contribution national accounts manager, to further strengthen the firm's national sales relationships. Both Wolff and Doucet report to Defined Contribution National Sales Manager James Brockelman.


Wyderko Now President, CEO of Directors Forum

The Mutual Fund Directors Forum has named Susan Ferris Wyderko president and chief executive officer, replacing Forum founding President Allan Mostoff, who will retire on Dec. 31.

Wyderko joined the Forum in 2006 as executive director after serving as director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Investor Education and Assistance. A 20-year veteran of the SEC, Wyderko also held a number of other positions, including acting director of the Division of Investment Management.

"Susan has proven herself to be a tireless champion of fund directors in the five years since she joined the Forum, and our members have benefited from her knowledge, leadership and experience during a tumultuous time for the financial services industry," said Jameson A. Baxter, chairman of the board of director of the Forum. "We look forward to continuing our work with her as she steps into the president's role that has been so ably filled by Allan since the Forum's founding."

The Forum, a nonprofit membership organization for investment company director, was founded in 1999 in response to then-Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt's call to "help independent fund directors better understand the scope of their authority and responsibilities, and thereby enhance their ability to safeguard investors' interests."

Before founding the Forum, Mostoff founded the financial services practice at Dechert in 1976. Prior to joining Dechert, Mostoff was director of the Division of Investment Management at the SEC.


BoA Hires 27 Advisers In Southeast Region

Bank of America has continued its hiring spree of financial solutions advisers with the addition of 27 new advisers in the Southeast U.S. region.

Bank of America's new hires come as the firm plans to almost double the number of financial solutions advisers in its firm to more than 1,000 by the end of this year. Last month, the firm added 80 advisers in California and Nevada.

The Southeast region's cities and surrounding metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, as well as Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh and Durham, N.C.

The financial solutions advisers will target preferred customers, or those with investable assets between $50,000 to $250,000, for banking and investing services. The Merrill Edge advisory business includes team-based brokerage services provided at the banks and over the phone. Merrill Edge is also the brand of an online investing platform.

With the hires, Bank of America has also promoted David Giancola to manage the financial solutions advisers program for the Southeast region.

Giancola's new role comes after he has spent 4-1/2 years at BoA, most recently as a sales manager with the firm's investments business in Atlanta. Giancola also served as a director with Charles Schwab's Asia Pacific division.

The Merrill Edge model provides clients with "tremendous flexibility," Giancola said.

"We're able to blend the power of the banking products that we offer, as well as investment solutions, all offered through one adviser to a client. I think that's something very few institutions out there offer," Giancola said. The result, Giancola said, is that clients can talk to one adviser about their certificates of deposit, checking accounts, mortgages and also their retirement plans. The Southeast region's 27 new financial solutions advisers began working with customers several weeks ago, following rigorous training.

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