Big mutual-fund company names UNC Charlotte grad as CEO

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A graduate of UNC Charlotte’s business school is slated to become CEO this summer of a large U.S. mutual fund company that is struggling to reverse a loss of assets under management.

Philip Sanders, 56, will succeed Henry Herrmann as CEO of Overland Park, Kan.-based Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. on Aug. 1, according to a company statement this week.

Sanders joined Waddell & Reed as a portfolio manager in 1998 after a decade in the investment management division of Bank of America Corp. He has been chief investment officer of Waddell & Reed Investment Management Co. and Ivy Investment Management Co. since 2010. He has a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from UNC Charlotte.

Sanders had compensation of $2.98 million in 2015, making him the company’s third-highest paid executive, according to the annual proxy. He held Waddell & Reed shares valued at more than $6 million based on today’s share price. Shares have declined by more than 50% over the last year.

Waddell & Reed has suffered in recent years because of poor performance at some of its best-known funds, including Ivy Asset Strategy, which had $10 billion in assets under management on March 31, down from $36 billion in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company also has faced a shift by investors into passive index funds that do not require so-called active management.

Started in 1937, Waddell & Reed managed $95.2 billion at the end of March, from $122.9 billion a year earlier. Herrmann, 73, has been CEO since 2005.

Other well-known UNC Charlotte graduates include Lowe’s Cos. CEO Robert Niblock and former Bank of America Corp. Chief Financial Officer Joe Price.

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