A New England Fund Firm Searches For a New Prez
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Friday, December 13, 2013

A New England Fund Firm Searches For a New Prez

Sentinel Investments [profile] CEO Tom Brownell is searching for a new president of distribution.

MFWire has learned that Sentinel Financial Services Corp. president Jim Cronin and national sales manager Tim Call are both leaving the Montpelier, Vermont-based mutual fund shop. And a search for a new president is underway, while an interim one has stepped up.

MFWire could not immediately reach Cronin himself for comment on his departure.

Chris Graff, a spokesman for Sentinel parent National Life, confirms that Call's position, national sales manager, "has been eliminated as part of the strategic review that's been underway since June," as part of an effort "to sort of flatten [Sentinel's] distribution organization."

Yet Cronin's exit, Graff says, is different.

"We are undergoing a strategic review," Graff says. Cronin's "departure stems from philosophical differences over the direction of the firm."

David Longfritz, vice president of marketing and business development at National Life, is temporarily taking the president spot at Sentinel Financial Services Corp. as they search for Cronin's replacement, Graff says. Longfritz previously worked at John Hancock, Proctor & Gamble, Titleist and Footjoy, and as an advisor with Merrill Lynch.

Cronin and Call's departures follow several other top level changes at Sentinel. Brownell took over as temporary CEO in June as then-CEO Christian Thwaites left the firm. And later in the summer Sentinel eliminated the separate CFO position, with COO John Birch adding the duties and then-CFO Mike Delipriscolli moving back to Sentinel parent National Life.

As for the strategic review, Graff says, it's slated for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2014.

And as for the departing executives, Call joined Sentinel five years ago, and rose to national sales manager last year. Prior to Sentinel he worked with Putnam, AllianceBernstein, Federated and Dean Witter.

He tells MFWire that he's "talking to some large, Boston-based fund firms."

"Boston is my home," Call says. "I had a wonderful time in my five years at Sentinel and I'm moving on to pursue other opportunities."

Cronin joined Sentinel seven years ago after working with MFS, AllianceBernstein, AIM and LPL.

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