"People have said to me, Why in the world have you joined a back-office company?'" said Ross Ellis, the newly-named director of product development and distribution at SEI Investments of Oaks, Pa. "But SEI is the most front-office of any back-office firm."

SEI is a mutual fund administration and distribution company with offices in nine countries. Ellis will be in charge of working with wirehouses in the U.S. and developing distribution strategies for clients aiming to move offshore.

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