Merrill Lynch taps ex-Fidelity exec to head personal retirement

Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:01pm EST

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(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch said on Monday that former Fidelity Investments executive Jeff Cimini has joined the company as a managing director and head of personal retirement.

Cimini, most recently president of Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Company, joined Merrill's personal wealth and retirement team, led by managing director David Tyrie.

"We're going to have to start thinking about products and solutions in an aggregate fashion, not as a one-off, silver bullet type of thing," Tyrie said in an interview, noting that Cimini's new role will help bring together different areas of retirement planning and solutions.

"Jeff will have accountability not only for the college planning side of things, but also have the dialogue for things like: 'How do you think about healthcare?'. You have to think about ... how the whole package comes together," Tyrie said.

In his new role, Cimini leads product strategy, innovation and delivery across multiple enterprise channels for the firm. He will work with Merrill's more than 30 retirement specialists across the country.

Direct reports to Cimini include Bill Hunter, director of personal retirement solutions; Eve Varner, director of interactive platform management; and Rich Polimeni, director of education savings programs.

Cimini, who has worked in the industry for 25 years, started his career on the institutional side as a portfolio manager focusing on stable value products. He later turned to investment consulting for Fidelity and eventually moved over to the company's life insurance business as head of products and sales.

Cimini's hiring comes as Merrill plans to build out its personal wealth and retirement business, Tyrie said. The team also recently added former Morgan Stanley director Michael Maghini to head its insurance and annuities division, in October.

Cimini is based in Boston at Merrill's 100 Federal Street offices.

(Reporting by Ashley Lau in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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