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Executive Moves

Needles Now President at Touchstone Investments

Touchstone Investments has hired Gene L. Needles, Jr. as president, in charge of all operations, including the company's business management, strategy, distribution, product management, marketing, advisory services, relationship management and acquisitions.

"We are pleased to have Gene join our team," said Jill McGruder, president and chief executive officer for IFS Financial Services. "He possesses the leadership and vision needed for Touchstone's continued success."

Needles said he would spend his first month working with the existing team to develop a new product and distribution strategy "to take Touchstone to new heights."

Needles has 27 years of experience in the financial services industry, coming to the firm from AIM Distributors, where he was president and chief executive officer in charge of all U.S. distribution. Before that, he held executive positions with MetLife, State Street and Putnam Investments.

State Street Global Taps Lacaille as Global CIO

State Street Global Advisors has promoted Richard Lacaille to global chief investment officer, in charge of the firm's research, trading and chief investment officers around the world in all areas, including currency, fixed-income, asset allocation, cash and equities.

Lacaille will be based in London, reporting to President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Powers.

Since joining State Street in 2000, Lacaille has held a number of key executive positions with the firm, including head of global active equities and European chief investment officer.

"We conducted an extensive global internal and external search for this position and interviewed a number of extremely qualified candidates," Powers said. "Rick has a deep knowledge of the global investment environment and experience across all asset classes, plus significant background with the firm over the past eight years as we considerably expanded our presence in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. This experience makes him ideally suited to this new role. Rick will lead a team of talented professionals that will guide our global investment philosophies to meet the changing dynamics of markets worldwide."

Two Equity Stars-Ewing, Thakore-Join Putnam

Nick C. Thakore and Robert D. Ewing have joined Putnam Investments to jointly run its large-cap equities team, both with the title of managing director and portfolio manager. Both come from RiverSource Investments, where they developed an innovative approach to research and managed a number of large-cap equity funds. Before that, both were with Fidelity Investments.

Calling the two industry stars, Putnam Chief Executive Officer Robert L. Reynolds said: "I am excited to welcome these veteran managers aboard. I have known Nick and Bob for more than 15 years. They are exceptionally talented investment professionals who will bring new energy and insight to our large-cap equity team. Large-cap equities, clearly, are vital to most investors' core portfolios, and Nick and Bob bring the experience we need to excel in that category."

Thakore will run the Putnam Voyager Fund, and Ewing will run the Putnam Fund for Growth and Income, two of the firm's flagship funds.

"We are rebuilding the equity investment business at Putnam," Reynolds added, "and we're already seeing dramatic strides in enhancing the level of talent, improving the quality of research and strengthening performance. While others in the industry are cutting back, we see today's very challenging market environment as an opportunity to rebuild and revitalize."

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