The Money Management Institute announced that its 2005 Pioneer Award recipients are Charles Widger of Brinker Capital, Lawrence Sinsimer of Eaton Vance and James Seuffert of Bank of New York. The awards will be handed out at the Institute's annual convention Wednesday in Philadelphia.
The MMI gives out the awards "to members who have made significant contributions to the SMA and wealth management industries, as well as demonstrated a commitment to upholding a highly ethical work environment," said the trade association of the separately managed account industry, which has ballooned to $576 billion in assets as of the end of 2004.
Widger founded Brinker in 1987 as a subsidiary of the Mutual Benefit Capital Cos., where he led the management buyout of Brinker.
Now, he serves as chairman and chief executive and has taken a company with eight employees and $133 million in assets to one with 85 employees and $4.7 billion in SMA assets. He is a founding board member of the MMI, and has been in the financial services industry since 1977.
"I am proud of and genuinely appreciate this recognition by the board of governors of the Money Management Institute," Widger told Money Management Executive.
"To be recognized by the board of governors as a pioneer in our industry is a meaningful professional honor. I hasten to add that I share this recognition with my partners and colleagues at Brinker Capital. I believe the value proposition that we deliver is a worthwhile endeavor, and we are proud to do it."
Sinsimer, a 34-year industry veteran, currently serves as a managing director at Eaton Vance. From 1987 until 1991, he was senior vice president and director of Regent Investor Services. There, he built a national sales team and a distribution channel.
After his time at Regent, he accepted a position at Roger Engermann and Associates as senior vice president and national sales manager. He then went on to Paine Webber, where he was senior vice president and national marketing director for the company's investment counseling service.
Sinsimer joined Eaton Vance in 2000 to head up the firm's SMA initiatives. Like Widger, Sinsimer is a founding member of MMI. He started his second stint on the MMI board in 2004.
"I am honored to be included in a group of innovative professionals who have helped build the managed account industry from its infancy to a thriving and respected business," Sinsimer said.
"I am also extremely proud of the managed accounts professionals that have joined me here, all of whom brought a wealth of experience and superb industry reputations with them."
Seuffert, who is the chief operating officer of separate accounts for Bank of New York's Lockwood/Pershing managed account business, began his financial services career in 1980, in the consulting services division of E.F. Hutton.
He started out as a research analyst, and made his way to regional sales director before eventually becoming director of sales for Smith Barney's consulting services. Along with Leonard A. Reinhart, Seuffert helped found the Lockwood companies in 1995.
At Lockwood, Seuffert served as president of electronic managed account technologies before taking his current position upon the company's purchase by Bank of New York.
Peter Muratore, chairman of the MMI board of governors, said of the $600 billion SMA industry: "In all my years in the financial services industry, I have not seen a retail investment product or service gain such traction as efficiently as have managed accounts. Each of this year's pioneers have contributed, in a fundamental way, to the evolution of the managed account business."
Muratore himself was honored as a pioneer in 1999. He added, "Chuck, Larry and Jim have all contributed to the industry in unique ways, and I am proud to welcome them to our family of Money Management Institute Pioneers."