By Ashley Lau
(Reuters) - A veteran Morgan Stanley wealth adviser who played college basketball and lacrosse for Rutgers in the 1970s has been tapped to co-lead the university's search for a new athletic director after the former director stepped down over revelations that the school's basketball coach had abused players.
Kate Sweeney, whose office in New Brunswick is less than a mile from the university campus, will help guide the university's efforts to find a replacement for former director Tim Pernetti, who resigned on Friday.
Sweeney, who graduated from Rutgers' Cook College in 1979 with a degree in natural resource management, was captain of both the women's basketball and lacrosse teams while at Rutgers.
Sweeney, a certified financial planner and senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, started her career in 1983 at Paine Webber and has been with Morgan Stanley and its predecessor firms since 1986.
Sweeney's three decades of professional experience as an adviser will lend itself well to the demands of the search committee, said New York-based financial services recruiter Danny Sarch.
"The best advisers are really good with people and engaging them and their trust," said Sarch, noting that advisers are often tasked with understanding the complex needs of their clients, on both a financial and personal level.
Sweeney could not be reached, despite phone calls and an e-mail to her office.
She is an active member of the university's alumni community and serves on the executive committee of the President's Council at Rutgers University Foundation.
She will join Rutgers executive vice president of academic affairs, Richard Edwards, in co-heading the search committee, which the university announced on Monday.
Rutgers President Robert Barchi said the rest of the committee members, who will represent a broad cross-section of the university community, will be named shortly.
Sweeney said last year that her role model was her former college basketball coach, Theresa Shank Grentz, in an article in NJBIZ, after being named one of the top 50 women in business by the weekly business journal.
(Reporting by Ashley Lau in New York; Editing by Chelsea Emery and Tim Dobbyn)