By Jed Horowitz
NEW YORK, April 30 E*Trade Financial Corp
named a pair of executives with consumer experience to
fill top operational and marketing roles on Tuesday, continuing
a house cleaning that began when the discount broker hired a new
chief executive in January.
The New York-based firm named Navtej Nandra, head of
international operations at Morgan Stanley Investment Management
for the past three years, as president of the company and head
of its core retail brokerage operations.
Nandra, 46, replaces Michael Curcio, a 10-year veteran who
had run the brokerage unit, E*Trade Securities, since 2005.
Curcio is the fifth top executive to step down since Paul Idzik
became chief executive of E*Trade early this year.
E*Trade on Tuesday also named Liza Landsman as chief
marketing officer. She was most recently global head of digital
marketing at investment management firm BlackRock Inc
and had previously worked at Citigroup Inc and Bravas
Nandra, who was chief operating officer of global wealth
management at Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch
before joining Morgan Stanley, is E*Trade Financial's first
president since 2008. He will receive a base salary of $750,000
this year and a guaranteed performance bonus of $3.3 million in
cash and stock, according to a regulatory filing.
Under Curcio's employment agreement, he would receive
severance of at least $3.0 million if he were terminated
"involuntarily," E*Trade said in a 2012 regulatory filing.
Nandra, whose appointment is effective immediately, "will
help ensure the company's customers remain at the forefront of
E*Trade going forward," the company said in a news release.
At Morgan Stanley, which he joined in the summer of 2010 to
help revive its troubled investment management operations, he
oversaw a 60 percent rise in the investment bank's international
assets under management, E*Trade said.
A Morgan Stanley spokesman confirmed Nandra's departure and
said the company has no plans to replace him. His
responsibilities will be assumed by other executives.
E*Trade has suffered hundreds of millions of dollars of
losses from making subprime mortgage loans during the financial
crisis that began in late 2007 and the company has been working
to raise new capital and wind down its lending operations.
Landsman replaces Nicholas Utton, one of several executives
forced out since Chief Executive Paul Idzik joined E*Trade at
the beginning of the year.
On a conference call with investors last month, Idzik
suggested he would find new leaders to refocus E*Trade on its
core retail brokerage activities following a review of the roles
and responsibilities of the company's executive
E*Trade, known for its precocious-baby ads, needed a "much
sharper" marketing focus that deemphasizes some advertising and
looks more closely at analytics, Idzik said. The company also is
trimming marketing costs this year.
In a prepared statement, Landsman said she will capitalize
on the "iconic brand" E*Trade has created, but will take "a
sharper, more analytic focus" to raise the customer base and
E*Trade shares, up 15.2 percent since the start of the year,
fell 2 cents to $10.29 on Tuesday.
In addition to reorganizing the executive suite, Idzik is
presiding over a smaller board. Three directors are stepping
down before the company's annual meeting next month. They
include Kenneth Griffin, founder of the hedge fund Citadel LLC,
which has bailed out E*Trade with more than $4 billion of debt
and equity since 2007.
Citadel, which had been pushing for a sale of the company,
was E*Trade's biggest shareholder until it sold its remaining
9.6 percent stake last month.
Also leaving the board are Frank Petrilli, a discount
brokerage veteran who served as chairman and interim CEO of
E*Trade, and Ronald Fisher, the president of SoftBank Holdings
who had been on the board since 2000. E*Trade said in March that
former Fidelity Investments president Rodger Lawson will replace
Petrilli as its chairman.