Looking to address clients’ evolving retirement needs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has snapped up 25-year industry veteran Jeff Cimini from Fidelity to help direct strategy and innovation as the new Head of Personal Retirement. He will be reporting to David Tyrie, the head of Personal Wealth and Retirement at BofA Merrill Lynch.

“The way individuals plan for and live in retirement is evolving, and so too must the products needed to achieve desired outcomes throughout their lives,” David Tyrie, the head of Personal Wealth & Retirement at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said. “The addition of Jeff to our team positions us to execute on a number of differentiating innovations and approaches to providing retirement solutions.”

Cimini was most recently the president of Fidelity Life Insurance Company while also having served as a portfolio manager, consulted large institutional investors and built out insurance and annuity strategies at Fidelity. That background was “tailor made” for the role at Merrill Lynch, Tyrie, who had worked with Cimini in the past at Fidelity, said.

“It’s so important that Jeff has the background he does have because he understands the client needs on both sides, so he can develop products and solutions to match the changing environment,” Tyrie said.

According to Tyrie, the firm has been investing in its retirement planning operations over the past few years as it sees a growing opportunity for more individualized products and solutions. The increasing level of personal accountability and longevity of clients demands advisors to find solutions in retirement income and work planning tools as well as 529 and IRA business.

“Individuals are now personally accountable for their savings, personally accountable for their accumulation, and they’re personally accountable once they get to the distribution side of things,” Tyrie said in a phone interview. “Somebody who’s got the institutional as well as a direct-consumer background is really big in understanding client needs there.”

According to Tyrie, BofA Merrill Lynch had been looking for a Head of Personal Retirement for some time and jumped at the opportunity once Cimini became available.

“He’s the first in many steps to evolve the organization to best match the client need,” he said. “While we’ve been spending the last few years building up, it’s also necessary once you reach certain thresholds to bring in very senior folks like Jeff to help grow [the organization] even faster.”

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