CLEVELAND, May 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- National City Investment Management Company (NCIMC) today announced positive developments in the group's core and growth equity management capabilities. Christopher H. Wiles, CFA, has joined the firm as managing senior director for large capitalization growth and core equity management, and Lawrence E. Eakin, Jr. joins as co- portfolio manager and senior director. Wiles and Eakin will co-manage the large capitalization growth, large capitalization core and diversified growth styles at NCIMC. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20030428/NATIONALCITYLOGO ) In addition, former Strong team member Michael J. Halloran, CFA, will join NCIMC as large capitalization core and growth equity analyst. Their three- member support team will also make the move. Wiles, Eakin, Halloran and team were instrumental contributors at Strong Capital Management, Inc., where they were responsible for the highly successful Strong Large Company Growth Fund and the Strong Advisor Large Company Core Fund. The team comes to National City with an established performance record and a philosophy focused on limiting risk variables while maximizing elements that will add value and increase relative performance. Wiles and Eakin have worked together on the previously mentioned Strong funds since their inception in 1997. "We are excited about the momentum these new additions bring to NCIMC, and are thrilled to have such a high caliber investment team join our firm," said Donald L. Ross, NCIMC president and chief investment officer. "Chris has been recognized as one of the most highly ranked investment professionals in the industry. In fact, he was named 'one of the top equity-income managers of the past decade' by Fortune magazine in 2000, which is quite a testament to his skills. Chris, Larry and Mike have demonstrated the ability to generate exceptional returns in their styles, and we look forward to positive results for our clients. Their impressive record on the two Strong funds, coupled with our administrative, institutional asset gathering and client service capabilities, provides a winning combination for our clients and their consultants." "National City and its Investment Management Company have a proven record of fiduciary responsibility, integrity and client service," said Wiles. "The company's strong Midwestern presence and institutional asset gathering and distribution abilities were also attractive, and Larry, Mike and I look forward to continuing our record of investment excellence for the long term at National City." The new portfolio management team, as well as a three-member support staff, will operate out of offices located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Additional analysts or team members will be hired as necessary to help enable the continuation of the team's philosophy, process and enviable performance history. Current team members include: Christopher A. Wiles, CFA, joins NCIMC as managing senior director for core and growth equity management. Most recently he was senior portfolio manager at Strong Capital Management, Inc. Wiles founded Rockhaven Asset Management in 1997, which was later acquired by Strong in 2002. He has 19 years of investment experience, including positions at Rockhaven, Federated Investors and Mellon Financial Corporation. Wiles has managed the Strong Advisor Large Company Core Fund and Strong Large Company Growth Fund since their inception, and was named top Equity Income Manager by Barron's in 1996. He earned a bachelor's degree from Youngstown State University and a master's degree in business administration from Cleveland State University. Lawrence E. Eakin, Jr. joins NCIMC as co-portfolio manager and senior director. Eakin was formerly co-portfolio manager of Strong Advisor Large Company Core Fund and Strong Large Company Growth Fund. He has nine years of investment experience, with a background in technology and finance. He has held research positions at Strong, Rockhaven Asset Management, Federated Investors, Inc., and Westinghouse Financial Services, Inc. with most recent responsibilities for the health care, technology and telecom sectors. Eakin earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in business administration from Duquesne University. Michael J. Halloran, CFA, joins NCIMC as large capitalization growth equity analyst. Halloran was formerly an equity analyst for Strong's Large Company Core Fund and Large Company Growth Fund. He has five years of investment experience, and an additional background in engineering and finance. Prior to his tenure at Strong, Halloran worked for Rockhaven Asset Management, PNC Financial Services, Inc., and United Technologies. He has research experience with the consumer discretionary, staples, energy and utilities sectors. Halloran earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a master's degree in science from the University of Florida and a master's degree in business administration from Carnegie Mellon University. About National City Investment Management Company The National City Investment Management Company (NCIMC) is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of National City Corporation. NCIMC focuses on the investment and service requirements for institutional clients -- as well as acting as investment advisor to the Armada Funds, for which it receives an investment advisory fee. In addition, National City Investment Management Company, as a registered investment advisor, is qualified to act as an asset manager under ERISA guidelines. Armada Funds are distributed by Professional Funds Distributor, LLC, 760 Moore Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406. Professional Funds Distributor, LLC is not affiliated with NCIMC and is not a bank. About National City National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC), headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the nation's largest financial holding companies. The company operates through an extensive banking network primarily in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Pennsylvania, and also serves customers in selected markets nationally. Its core businesses include commercial and retail banking, consumer finance, asset management, mortgage financing and servicing, and payment processing. For more information about National City, visit the company's Web site at NationalCity.com.
SOURCE National City Corporation