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Executive Moves

Knight Hires Morgan Team To Target Fund Advisors

Knight Capital Group said Wednesday it hired five fixed income traders and managers away from Morgan Stanley, to create a new set of online and voice services for investment advisors.

Knight has recruited Joshua B. Zucker, who built up Morgan Stanley's Special Situations Group; Bohn C. Vagari, who spend 12 years in fixed income sales to dealers and registered investment advisors for Morgan; Joseph Miller, who provided fixed income sales coverage to top advisors inside Morgan's own retail brokerage business; Patrick J. Moore, who provided fixed income services to Morgan broker/dealers and private bank clients; and John W. Browning, who led Morgan's business development efforts for its Registered Investment Advisor Fixed Income Sales Desk.

The five will head up a new business called Knight Advisor Services, which will supply fixed income sales, trading and research to investment advisors serving high-net-worth individuals through separately managed accounts, as well as advisers serving endowments, foundations and similar organizations. The team will trade in investment-grade corporate bonds, municipal debt and certificates of deposit, primarily.

Zucker will head credit sales and trading for the group, as its managing director. Vergari will be a director in registered investment advisor sales. Miller is responsible for credit sales. Moore will be vice president of broker/dealer sales. Browning will lead business development.

Walters Walks Away From The Hartford

After launching an initiative to revamp its wealth management business in April, Hartford Financial Services Group announced Wednesday that John C. Walters, the president of wealth management, will leave the company at the end of July to "pursue other opportunities."

The Hartford, Conn. company reported that David N. Levenson will replace Walters as of July 1.

The move seems abrupt given that just a few short months ago the company was expanding its wealth management group to improve cross-selling and increase assets under management by changing its dual-silo structure so Hartford acts as one company with three consumer divisions: commercial markets, consumer markets and wealth management.

The transition was set to be complete on July 1st, which is when the business begins operating as Wealth Management, and after working hard to see the company through these tough times, it was announced today that Walters will leave the company. Wealth Management is comprised of many of the businesses formerly within Hartford Life-mutual funds, retirement plans, annuities, life insurance, institutional and international (where the company no longer writes new business). Group Benefits (group life & disability), which was formerly part of Hartford Life, becomes part of Commercial Markets.

In April when The Hartford made its announcement, Walters said in an interview that he plans to cross-sell the company's life insurance and retirement capabilities to these existing customers that own businesses. "When we look at all of the Hartford, we have one million businesses as customers, but from a wealth management standpoint, we never focused on going after their wealth management needs. This is a new initiative for us."

Walters, who has worked for The Hartford since 2000, was promoted to the helm of the wealth management business when the transition was announced in April.

"John was very supportive of the new strategy and played a strong role in creating it," said Timothy Benedict, spokesperson for The Hartford, in a phone interview. "In light of the many changes at Hartford Life over the past two years and with the transition to wealth management complete, John and Liam agreed that this was the right time for a leadership change."

Levenson joined Hartford in 1995 from Fidelity Investments and has worked in nearly every aspect of the company's wealth management business. In 2005, he joined Hartford Investment Management Company as a managing director in charge of sales and marketing.

"I look forward to working with Dave as we implement our go-forward strategy and officially roll out the new organizational structure on July 1," McGee said. "Dave has a proven track record of building and managing several successful businesses at The Hartford, including launching the company's mutual funds operations and revitalizing the retirement plans business."

Jefferies' Bank Coverage Gets New Head

Jefferies & Co. said on Wednesday it hired Michael Anderson as a managing director in its global equity capital markets group, responsible for coverage of financial institutions.

Anderson was previously at Switzerland-based UBS, where he was managing director and U.S. head of financial institutions equity capital markets.At UBS he was involved with more than $47 billion worth of book-run equity offerings.

Prior to his work at UBS, Anderson was a managing director and head of financial institutions equity capital markets at Banc of America Securities for six years.

Before his work at Banc of America, Anderson was with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette for four years in New York and London serving as a managing director in European equity capital markets and head of European equity syndicate.

Electra Picks Cohen

Electra Information Systems, a New York-based provider of post-trade reconciliation and data aggregation services, has appointed Robert Cohen to the newly created role of director of relationship management and strategic alliances.

Cohen will be responsible for managing Electra's global relationships with clients, alliance partners and resellers. Before joining Electra, Cohen held positions at a variety of financial and IT firms, including Omgeo.