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AIM: Retirement, Promotion

Abbott Sprague will retire and is stepping down as president and institutional marketing director of Fund Management Company, AIM Management Group's institutional marketing subsidiary.

Karen Dunn Kelley, currently AIM's chief money market and government securities officer, will become president of FMC and William Hoppe will be promoted to director of institutional marketing. Hoppe has been the group's national sales manager since 2000.

As president of FMC, Kelley said her goal was to continue the success the company has experienced under Sprague's leadership. "We're one of the fastest growing money market groups in the country."

Because FMC's senior management team has been working together for over 12 years, that kind of growth should continue, she said. However, Kelley said, the company will implement between three to four new initiatives it is currently working on that are scheduled to take effect by the first quarter of next year.

Although she declined to elaborate on what those plans specifically include, she mentioned that some new products will be developed within that time frame.

Sprague began his career with AIM in 1980 as a portfolio manager and helped develop AIM's first institutional money market fund. He was promoted to his current position in 1989 and is also a senior VP of AIM Management Group.

Kelley joined AIM in 1989 as a money market portfolio manager. Previously she had served as a trader with Federated Investors and a VP of the retail high-yield fixed-income department for Drexel Burnham Lambert.

Hoppe started at AIM in 1988 working as an institutional wholesaler. Hoppe came from Citicorp Investment Bank where he was a broker of fixed-income and money market securities.

New Marketing Exec at AmEx Faces Formidable Challenge

Claire Huang, the new chief marketing officer at American Express Financial Advisors, already faces a trio of significant hurdles--layoffs, management turnover and huge bond losses. Since last summer, the advisor unit has been breaking in a new CEO, a new chief investment officer and a new chief marketing officer. And now with the departure of Stuart Setlacek late last month after the firm lost more than $400 million in junk bond investments, it's looking for a new CFO.

And there's uncertainty elsewhere in the group. The financial advisor division is cutting approximately 800 to 1,000 positions over the next 18 months. Although it is not clear where the cuts will be taking place, a spokeswoman said most will be in customer service.

In the midst of all the retiring, firing and resigning, however, AmEx is still trying to hone and expand its business--and it's starting by increasing its marketing services for advisors.

Last month, the unit hired Huang as its new chief marketing officer, replacing Mark Carter, who left in December.

Huang hopes to create an asset "acquisition machine," as well as deepen the relationships planners have with their clients. "It's all about brand positioning," Huang said, adding that typically when consumers think of American Express, they think of the charge and credit cards, not the financial advisors.

Former Bush Spokesperson Elected to MassMutual Board

Former Montana Governor Marc Racicot, who served as a key spokesperson to the campaign of George W. Bush as the drama over the presidential election unfolded last year, has been elected to the board of MassMutual Financial Group, the company announced last week.

Racicot, who served as the state's governor from 1993 through this year, became a board member of the financial company August 1.

Racicot, now a partner with the Washington, D.C. law firm Bracwell & Patterson where he specializes in energy and trade law, previously served as Montana's Assistant Attorney General and Special Prosecutor and, eventually, Attorney General. He was also considered by the Bush Administration for the position of Attorney General.

MassMutual, the marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., is a conglomerate of subsidiaries, including Oppenheimer Funds. Its member companies held assets of more than $213 billion at the end of 2000.

Rydex Hires Former

American Skandia Marketer

Curt Meyer has joined Rydex Global Advisors' annuity sales group as a regional VP. Meyer, based in the Rockville, Md. firm's Boston office, covers the Northeast region, which ranges from Maryland to Maine. He came from American Skandia, where he was a regional marketing director of the North and South Carolina territory. Meyer reports to Carl Resnick, national sales manager for Rydex's annuity products.

"My decision to join Rydex Global Advisors was predicated on the fact they will show top performance in any market while always putting the customer's demands first," said Meyer of the move. "The architecture of the fund family was built focusing on consistency, flexibility, and innovation."

Jackson Promotes

Two Annuity Sales Execs

Jackson National Life Insurance Co. has promoted two executives within the resource development division at Jackson National Life Distributors, the company's broker/dealer marketing unit.