Fidelity annuities vet jumps to Bank of America

Jeff Cimini takes on new role as head of personal retirement

By Darla Mercado

Jan 14, 2013 @ 3:02 pm (Updated 5:37 pm) EST

Variable annuities, people
Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp. has hired Jeffrey K. Cimini, former president of Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Co., to oversee the wirehouse's retirement products strategy.

In the newly created post, Mr. Cimini will be a managing director and head of personal retirement at Bank of America's Global Wealth & Retirement Solutions unit, according to an internal memo. He will report to David Tyrie, managing director and head of personal wealth and retirement.

In turn, a trio of executives will report to Mr. Cimini: Bill Hunter, director of personal retirement solutions; Eve Varner, director of interactive platform management; and Rich Polimeni, director of education savings programs.

While at Fidelity, Mr. Cimini oversaw the firm's efforts in the annuity business as the company added to its roster of low-priced variable-, fixed- and immediate-income products, including a variable annuity the firm released with MetLife Inc., the MetLife Growth and Guaranteed Income VA.

Mr. Cimini left Fidelity last year, according to Joseph Madden, a spokesman for the firm. These days, Fidelity Life is a part of the firm's Investment Solutions organization, a group that purports to meet clients' needs by combining planning tools, managed accounts and annuity offerings. Cyrus Taraporevala now heads up Fidelity's Investment Solutions group.

Bringing on Mr. Cimini is part of an initiative to expand Bank of America Merrill Lynch's expertise in converting assets into pension income.

“We see clients who have challenges they've never faced before, including longevity and thinking about their whole family, and not just their own personal accounts,” said Mr. Tyrie, who knows Mr. Cimini from his own stint at Fidelity.

The new post pools together a variety of businesses under Mr. Cimini's oversight, including the individual retirement account business and the 529 business.

“As we've talked with our clients, a huge part of 2013 and beyond for Merrill Lynch is to ensure that our advisers are prepared to have the best discussion around retirement with their clients, be they individuals or 401(k) plans,” Mr. Tyrie said. “That whole package fits into Jeff's world.”