Annuities veteran from Fidelity jumps to BofA

Jeff Cimini takes on new role as head of personal retirement

By Darla Mercado

Jan 20, 2013 @ 12:01 am (Updated 12:27 pm) EST

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

In the new post, he will be a managing director and head of personal retirement at BofA's Global Wealth & Retirement Solutions unit and report to David Tyrie, managing director and head of personal wealth and retirement, according to an internal memorandum.

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

While at Fidelity, Mr. Cimini oversaw 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 that the firm released with MetLife Inc.

He left Fidelity last year, according to spokesman Joseph Madden.

These days, Fidelity Life is a part of the firm's Investment Solutions organization, which 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.

SEVERAL BUSINESSES

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

“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.”

dmercado@investmentnews.com Twitter: @darla_mercado

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