Turning clients' losses into savings Challenge of luring Phila. wealth to Fleet

Posted: April 23, 2002

Also in this column:

Next for Emma Chappell?

Investec sees chip rally.

Turning stock market losses to investor savings, SEI Investments Co. of Oaks says its clients shaved $111 million from their federal income taxes this year by dumping money-losing SEI mutual funds and instantly replacing them with similar SEI investments.

SEI's "Tax-Loss Harvesting Program" helped 6,200 SEI clients report tax losses averaging $18,000 each, at the expense of the U.S. Treasury, with little change to their investments.

To keep clients from moving their money elsewhere, SEI waived all sales fees, said spokesman Scott Sunshine. SEI wants to expand the program so customers can claim their losses anytime during the year, according to senior vice president Scott W. Dell'Orfano.

Wealth creation

FleetBoston Financial Corp. has picked managers from its local rivals to run its new Philadelphia banking-for-the-rich operation.

Gerard P. Cuddy - who headed First Union National Bank's local "private banking" arm before the bank reorganized last year as Wachovia Corp. - will head Fleet's Private Client Group for Pennsylvania and Delaware. Robert M. Chappelear, formerly first vice president in Mellon Bank's local "high-net-worth clients" unit, will run Fleet's Pennsylvania investment arm, the local branch of Fleet's $170 billion-asset Columbia Management Group.

"The Philadelphia market is different from everywhere else," Cuddy said last week. "It's a tight-knit community, where lawyers are very involved with [client] families." His job: to go after lawyers and families alike.

Both men said Fleet had promised them money and staff to grow with. "Mellon was not in that exact same stage," Chappelear said. He found it more attractive to be "on the ground building something" with Fleet.

Will Cuddy and Chappelear be able to lure Philadelphia's wealthy, and their fees, to Fleet?

"Gerry is enormously charismatic. He's a wickedly smart guy. He has a large following," said Marsha Perelman, who, like many Philadelphia private-banking customers, patronizes First Union as well as some of its competitors. "If Fleet has an attractive story," Perelman concluded, "people will hear him tell it."

Next for Emma Chappell

Emma Chappell, who founded United Bank of Philadelphia in 1991 and was voted out as chairwoman in a government-ordered restructuring nine years later, is looking for work again after a stint as the Rev. Jesse Jackson's representative on Wall Street.

From March 2001 until last month, Chappell was executive director at Jackson's Wall Street Project, which pressured big corporations to hire more minority workers and contractors and donate to African American organizations, including Jackson's.

Why did Chappell leave? The project referred questions to Chappell. She denied a Washington Times report that listed her among the casualties of a general cutback at Jackson's activist groups. She said she had completed "a one-year contract to plan the Wall Street Project's fifth anniversary celebration" and left on schedule. The party was held in January. Chappell's contract expired two months later; now, she said, she is "transitioning back into the private sector."

Investec sees chip rally

Investec PMG Capital, the South African-owned, West Conshohocken investment bank that's hiring a string of Wall Street veterans as bigger banks cut back, is preaching a stock-market recovery for the computer-parts business.

Analyst Timothy Summers, late of PaineWebber, issued a report urging customers to buy five semiconductor-component stocks. He's betting on a "cyclical upturn" that "could last for several years."

The benchmark Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index (SOX) is trading at half the levels of two years ago - but double the level of September, when the bottom was falling out of the computer-sales business.

According to Summers' data, semiconductor shipments and semiconductor-factory use, after plunging for the last two years, have ticked up, and memory-chip prices are rising. But mostly, he's betting on the kind of general economic upturn that tends to push computer-component stocks sharply higher.

Summers' picks include Applied Materials Inc., Advanced Energy Industries Inc., ATMI Inc. and MKS Instruments Inc., each worth $1 billion to $2 billion on the Nasdaq. His other pick, ceramic- and metal-component-maker CoorsTek Inc., a spin-off of the brewer, is smaller, with a $430 million market value, and a stock price down about a quarter from its 2000 high.

Contact Joseph N. DiStefano at 215-854-5957 or jdistefano@phillynews.com.

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