Merrill strategist Bartels named CIO for wealth portfolios

NEW YORK, March 20 Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:25pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) - Moving to fill gaps left by the recent departures of three top analysts and strategists in its global wealth and investment management group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch named Mary Ann Bartels on Wednesday as chief investment officer of portfolio strategies for the unit.

She has been with Merrill Lynch for 17 years, most recently as head of technical and market analysis in Bank of America Corp's global markets research division. The company has not yet named her replacement.

She replaces Rick Galiardo in the global wealth group. He left last month, days after the departure of his boss, Lisa Shalett, who was chief investment officer for all of Merrill's wealth management brokerage force. Shalett has not yet been replaced.

The investment strategy unit last week also lost Raphael Zagury, who led a team that developed derivatives-based investment products for what Merrill and other wealth management firms call ultra-high-net-worth investors, who generally have $20 million or more of investable assets.

Zagury will join Deutsche Bank AG's private banking group in three months to focus on developing products for the bank's wealthy Brazilian clients.

In an internal memo, wealth and retirement products head Andrew Sieg said Bartels will oversee portfolio strategies, exchange-traded fund strategies, publications and marketing and communications for current and new product launches aimed at advisers and their clients.

Sieg, whose brother Phil heads Merrill's ultra-high-net-worth unit, expects to announce a full-time replacement for Shalett as chief investment officer and head of investment management and guidance "in the coming weeks."

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