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Aviva Hires Tejas’s Jones for Bond Trading in Chicago

Aviva Plc (AV/)’s investment arm in the U.S. hired Jeff Jones to trade bonds as the unit seeks to boost business with clients betting on high-yield securities.

Jones joins Aviva Investors Americas from Tejas Securities Group Inc. and will be based in Chicago, reporting to Todd Youngberg, head of high-yield investments. Jones previously traded junk bonds for FBR Capital Markets and Barclays Plc, the unit of the London-based insurer said in a statement today.

Aviva is focusing in the U.S. on asset management after selling its annuity business in the country to Apollo Global Management LLC this month. The company announced a global initiative last year to expand offerings of short-duration high-yield bonds.

Jones’s “strengths as a high-yield trader and experience making markets and managing risk will further enhance our ability to capitalize on attractive opportunities,” Brent Finck, high-yield portfolio manager, said in the statement.

The global asset-management business oversaw about 274 billion pounds ($442 billion) as of Dec. 31, up from almost 263 million pounds a year earlier. The unit operates in 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America and has more than 1,000 employees worldwide, Rob Ranges, a spokesman for the company, said in an interview.

Principal Financial Group Inc. announced in June that it hired Josh Rank and Matt Hanson from Aviva to help run a portfolio of junk bonds. Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal is among insurers seeking to build money-management units to increase fee revenue.

Texas A&M

Jones has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Texas A&M University. He previously worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to the statement.

Tejas Securities, owned by Westech Capital Corp. (WTEC), is a broker-dealer that was founded in 1994, according to the unit’s website. No one at the Austin, Texas-based company was available to comment today as bond markets were closed because of a U.S. holiday, according to a person answering the phone at the headquarters.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marci Jacobs in New York at mjacobs63@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Kraut at dkraut2@bloomberg.net

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