TIAA Names Advani President of $915 Billion Asset Manager

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  • Executive will lead global distribution and develop products
  • Advani joins from Franklin Resources where he was co-president

TIAA, a financial services provider for teachers and medical workers, hired Vijay Advani from Franklin Resources Inc. as president and chief operating officer of its asset-management unit, where he will oversee distribution and drive strategy.

Advani will also help develop products and focus on data initiatives in the newly created role, New York-based TIAA Global Asset Management said Thursday in a statement. The unit oversaw $915 billion as of Sept. 30.

Under Chief Executive Officer Roger Ferguson, the firm formerly known as TIAA-CREF has expanded its investing operation through acquisitions while betting on assets including real estate, agriculture and timber as well as traditional stocks and bonds. TIAA, whose asset-management arm is led by CEO Robert Leary, bought Nuveen Investments for more than $6 billion in 2014 and opened a commercial lender last year staffed by veterans of Carlyle Group LP.

“Vijay’s keen insights, excellent strategic thinking and vast global experience will be invaluable to our clients and our high-performing distribution teams,” Leary said in the statement. “He’ll also be a primary architect and implementer of the strategies that will ensure our continued growth.”

At Franklin, Advani was responsible for long-term strategic initiatives, investment management, trading and global distribution as co-president, according to the statement. Before joining the San Mateo, California-based firm in 1995, he worked at the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. for 11 years.

His resignation from Franklin is effective Dec. 31, that company said in a separate statement Thursday. Jennifer M. Johnson retains her role as president of Franklin Resources, which had more than $714 billion in assets under management as of Nov. 30.

‘Proven Track Record’

“Jenny has a proven track record of managing all major aspects of the business over the past 28 years, and we have a very experienced and capable leadership team in place,” Franklin CEO Greg Johnson said in the statement.

TIAA Global Asset Management hired Martha Willis from OppenheimerFunds in April to lead marketing efforts, then added Fidelity Investments’ Eleri Dixon and BlackRock Inc.’s Eugene Colter in September.

(Updates with Johnson’s role at Franklin in third-to-last paragraph.)
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