PFM Asset Management Names New Chief Marketing Officer & Head of Portfolio Strategies Group

PFM Asset Management Names New Chief Marketing Officer & Head of Portfolio Strategies Group

Steve’s breakdown: We love it when a company creates the position of Chief Marketing Officer. It means big changes to possibly anything or everything in the marketing department. Which means opportunity for you. Get in there and congratulate the new guy.

HARRISBURG, PA: PFM Asset Management LLC, (PFMAM), part of The PFM Group of companies, today announced the appointment of Managing Director Jim Link, CEBS, to the newly-created position of Chief Marketing Officer and Managing Director Ken Schiebel, CFA, as head of a newly-formed Portfolio Strategies Group.

“These changes should help us continue to grow in our key markets by organizing our marketing and investment management resources to assure we put our best efforts into client acquisition while we exceed the high expectations our clients have for performance and service,” explained PFMAM Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer Marty Margolis.

As PFM’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jim Link’s responsibility is centered on helping PFMAM offer clients and prospects the full range of services PFM can provide. He will work closely with all of PFM’s regional Managing Directors. Jim came to PFM five years ago with significant sales management experience. He served as National Sales Manager for Wachovia’s Institutional Retirement Services and Institutional Trust functions, and before that, had a similar role with Manning & Napier Advisors as Managing Director of their Benefit Services and Institutional Custody Group.  At T. Rowe Price and at Prudential, Jim led sales training and client service enhancement efforts for several different divisions, while at VALIC, a retirement services firm, he was actively involved in the re-engineering of their operational processes.

Upon joining PFM, Jim identified an opportunity for PFM to develop a business focused on helping state and local governments deal with accounting standards and the associated financial requirements relating to Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB).  With a focus on harnessing the multi-dimensional capabilities of PFM, over the last four years he has led the product development, product sales, benefits and investment consulting, and client servicing efforts that have resulted in a business of advising clients with more than $1.3 billion in OPEB assets. His work has also positioned the firm to engage in numerous benefits consulting and/or OPEB strategy projects.  Along with PFM Managing Director John Spagnola, Jim has also been active in building the firm’s Multi-Asset Class (MAC) discretionary management business.  Since 2007, overall MAC assets have grown from approximately $184 million to more than $1.5 billion.

“We are very pleased to be able to tap Jim’s leadership qualities not just to assist the PFM Group as we grow, but also to help us serve our clients in the most productive way we can,” said PFM Managing Director and CEO F. John White. “It is one of our ongoing corporate missions to make our clients stronger and more productive, and Jim exemplifies that PFM tradition,” he noted.

“I am very excited to be able to take on this responsibility at PFM,” Mr. Link added. “I am proud of PFM’s growth that I seen over the five years I’ve been with the firm, and look forward to having the opportunity to accelerate that progress in my new role as Chief Marketing Officer,” he said.

Link will transition the thriving OPEB and MAC practices he has helped to build at PFM to other colleagues so he can devote his full energies to his new position. “We have an outstanding group of professionals in these practices, and I have every confidence that they will maintain a solid upward trajectory in growth of the assets we have under management,” he explained. “At June 30, we had $1.5 billion in MAC assets, an increase of 85% over the same date in 2010. Our OPEB assets were up 41% from June 30, 2010 to March 31, 2011 and totaled $1.3 billion,” he noted. “To sustain this kind of growth in what is an otherwise sluggish market in municipal finance is truly a testimony to the strength of this team,” he concluded.

PFM formed the Portfolio Strategies Group to further advance the level of investment analysis and service provided to PFMAM’s clients. “This team has two major roles,” Mr. Margolis explained. “It will support PFMAM’s fixed income portfolio management and marketing efforts with research and analysis, and provide additional resources for clients of all sizes, particularly those at the larger end of the client spectrum.”

Margolis stated that Ken Schiebel was a logical choice to head the group, as he has been with PFM for over 15 years and leads a team of portfolio managers, traders and research staff responsible for managing PFMAM’s separate account fixed-income business.  During the past ten years, under Ken’s leadership, the firm’s separate account assets under management have grown more than fourfold from $4.7 billion to over $21 billion at June 30, 2011.  In addition to managing portfolios for clients in PFMAM’s core areas of state and local governments and their affiliated public sector agencies, recent growth has been strong in the insurance, higher education, healthcare and public power sectors.  In particular, Ken Schiebel was able to leverage his background in actuarial analysis and asset/liability management to establish PFMAM as a market leader in managing assets in the insurance and self-insurance industry.

“Over the past few years, the fixed-income market has been through a period of unprecedented turmoil,” Mr. Schiebel commented.  “I am proud of our track record of meeting our client’s objectives while keeping the safety of their investments as our primary goal,” he said, adding “In this expanded new role, I look forward to continuing to develop creative solutions for our clients, to providing the analytical rigor to implement them successfully, and providing even more hands-on service to our clients.”

“These two important moves are an affirmation of PFM’s ongoing development, and clear evidence of our strategic plans to take maximum advantage of all opportunities to continue and enhance our growth in a profitable manner,” concluded PFM’s CEO White.  “We are confident that both of these highly accomplished professionals will help PFM go to the next level in our development as one of the nation’s leading municipal finance firms.”

The PFM Group currently employs more than 445 professionals serving a broad base of clients from 30 offices located in every region of the country. The firm is well respected for providing clients with independent advisory services free of conflicts in their dealings with the capital markets. PFM Asset Management LLC (PFMAM), part of the PFM Group of companies, is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. PFMAM had $40.7 billion in assets under management and provided investment consulting services for an additional $19.6 billion in securities as of June 30, 2011. Public Financial Management, Inc., also part of the PFM Group companies, was the top-ranked independent financial advisory firm in the nation in almost every major category at June 30, 2011, according to Thomson-Reuters, advising on more than $15.5 billion of total debt in 352 separate transactions during the first half of this year alone. Since its founding in 1974, PFM has provided independent financial advisory services to local, state, and regional government and non-profit clients throughout the United States in their dealings with the capital markets. The PFM Group’s clients are state and local governments, non-profit corporations, pension funds, and similar institutional investors. The PFM Group of companies also provides best practices strategic consulting and pension advisory consulting services.


Jim Link and his family reside in Wayne, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Texas A & M University. He has also earned the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) designation awarded by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Ken Schiebel and his family live in Sewickley, PA, and he works out of PFMAM’s office in Harrisburg, PA. Mr. Schiebel has a degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Michigan and has done post-graduate work in behavioral finance at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute. He is also a member of PFMAM’s Investment and Credit Committees.


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