The chief operating officer of Guggenheim Investments and two other top executives were let go this week as part of a reorganization at the firm, according to three people familiar with the situation.

Richard Goldman, chief oerpating officer of the New York-based asset management firm; Marc Zeitoun, head of sales; and Keith Fletcher, chief marketing officer, all left, the sources said.

The departures come amid rumors that the firm's parent, Guggenheim Partners LLC, is in talks to purchase Deutsche Bank AG's asset management business. Sources told Reuters that the management reshuffle had been in the works before Guggenheim began talks with Deutsche.

Guggenheim Partners, which describes itself as a diversified financial services firm, was founded by a great grandson of the art collector Solomon Guggenheim and counts Alan D. Schwartz, the former chief executive of Bear Stearns, among its staff.

A Guggenheim spokeswoman declined to comment on the departure of the three senior executives. A receptionist at the firm said Goldman, Zeitoun and Fletcher were not in the directory.

NEW BOSSES

Stephen Sautel, senior managing director and co-founder of the corporate credit group at Guggenheim Partners, has replaced Goldman, the sources said.

All sources could not speak on the record because the information was confidential.

Douglas Mangini, who headed distribution for Transparent Value, a Guggenheim subsidiary, is now head of sales and marketing.

Christopher Parisi, who had been a national sales manager with Guggenheim Investments, will now head intermediary distribution.

As part of the reorganization, Michael Kiley, chief executive of Security Benefit Corp, another Guggenheim subsidiary, will also be vice chairman of Guggenheim Investments.

Guggenheim and Deutsche are in the final stages of structuring a deal expected in April, according to sources, who have said some Deutsche Bank executives, including current asset management chief Kevin Parker, may stay with the unit after the deal is completed.

Deutsche Bank is due to release its quarterly earnings on April 26.

In September, Guggenheim Partners announced it was merging its 11 asset management units and creating Guggenheim Investments.

At that time, the firm named Goldman, who had been chief executive of Rydex Investments, a subsidiary of Guggenheim, as chief operating officer of the new unit.