T. Rowe Price to lose 2nd executive


T. Rowe Price Associates said yesterday that William T. Reynolds, director of its fixed-income division, would retire in April, the second high-profile retirement from the Baltimore investment firm announced in the past two months.

Reynolds, 55, joined Price 22 years ago as a bond specialist and oversaw an 80 percent increase in fixed-income assets, which account for $55 billion of the $190 billion the company has under management.

He is to be replaced by longtime protege Mary J. Miller, a former research assistant with the Urban Institute of Washington who joined Price in 1983.

In December, Price announced that M. David Testa, its chief investment officer, would step down in April. George A. Roche, Price's chairman and president, said the retirements are part of a natural "evolution" in management. Reynolds' retirement has been in the works for some time, he said.

"Bill has had a tremendous career at T. Rowe Price, and he's really helped the expansion of our efforts in the fixed-income area," Roche said. Miller's appointment as Reynolds' replacement was preordained, he said.

Reynolds was contemplating a job offer with another company in 1981 when he decided to find out whether George J. Collins, Price's former chief executive, would meet him for an interview. Collins, who was vacationing at Rehoboth Beach at the time, agreed to a meeting. Reynolds, who flew to Baltimore from Minneapolis, found Collins walking up a sandy beach path wearing swim shorts and a golf shirt.

"I really wanted to try to get into T. Rowe Price in the worst way but needed to see if there was a good opportunity for me to do so," Reynolds recalled.

The roughly hourlong meeting was a success, and Collins found a place for Reynolds in the fixed-income division. He later became head of the municipal bond department and served as portfolio manager for Price's New Income and Tax-Free Income funds. He took over the 80-person fixed-income department in 1996.

Collins, who retired in April 1997 and lives near Miami Beach, joked that Reynolds' golf game left something to be desired but that he had a knack for hiring top talent.

"He has a much stronger team now than what he inherited," said Collins, who led the fixed-income division until shortly after his appointment as president and chief executive in 1984. Collins is credited with hiring Reynolds and Miller.

Reynolds, who has tutored students at St. Ignatius Loyola Academy in Baltimore, said he would like to slow down and pursue his interests in education and travel.

Miller, 48, is assistant director of the fixed-income division and has overseen municipal bond funds since 1989. She became head of the municipal division in 1996.

Roche called her a "wonderful portfolio manager" and said clients won't notice any changes during the transition.

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