Waddell & Reed Financial Monday said Michael L. Avery has been promoted to senior vice president and chief investment officer. In addition, Avery was also appointed executive vice president and chief investment officer of subsidiaries Waddell & Reed Investment Management Co. and Ivy Investment Management Co.

Avery has worked on Waddell & Reed's investment management team for the past quarter century, 24 years to be exact. He most recently served as director of equity research. Filling his role as head of research will be Matthew T. Norris, a 13-year veteran and current portfolio manager.

"Mike is especially well-suited for the CIO position, having been intimately involved in our investment process for many years," said Henry J. Herrmann, CEO of Waddell & Reed Financial, in a prepared statement. "His experience as both a portfolio manager and our research director positions him well to lead our investment management team."

And on the new head of research, Herrmann continued: "Matt has demonstrated a keen mind for equity research and will further complement our team in his new role. Our well-established investment process will remain in place and will benefit from the perspective of these two respected individuals."

As CIO, Avery will oversee a team of more than 50 investment professionals, including 26 portfolio managers, 25 assistant portfolio managers and analysts, and three economists. Hermann, who served as CIO since 1987 before being named CEO last month, will stay on as chairman of the company's Investment Policy Committee.

Waddell & Reed, headquartered in Overland Park, Kan. manages more than $38 billion in assets.

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