Richard S. Strong resigned as chairman, chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Strong Financial Corporation yesterday. Kethhen J. Wessels, former president of the Dain Rauscher Wessels Capital Markets division the investment banking firm Dain Rauscher, is now chairman and CEO. Richard T. Weiss, 12-year veteran of Strong, is now CIO.

The changes were made "effective immediately," according to a Strong release yesterday. Strong faces criminal charges from the New York Attorney General’s office, according to widespread reports.

Strong has said he does not believe his mutual fund trades were harmful to investors but who has promised to reimburse investors for any financial losses they may have suffered as a result of his $600,000 in profits. As he stepped down yesterday, he issued the following statement: "For the past 29 years, this firm and what it represents have meant everything to me, and I have always tried to act in the best interests of investors.

"After weeks of intense reflection, I have come to realize that the best way for Strong Financial to pursue its promising future is for me to step down."

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