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E.F. Hutton exec William Clayton dies

William Clayton, an E.F. Hutton & Co. executive and board member who oversaw the brokerage's advertising campaigns, including "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen," has died. He was 83.

He died Friday at his home in Chatham Township, N.J., his son, Christopher Clayton, said Monday. He had Parkinson's disease for several years.

Clayton's 55-year career on Wall Street included 38 years at E.F. Hutton during its heyday as the second-largest U.S. brokerage. He founded Hutton Capital Management, a unit that managed institutional and high-net-worth client assets, and became, under chief executive Robert Fomon, the firm's in-house specialist for advertising and marketing.

"He was a money-management professional, but among other things he took on the advertising piece of the business," said Christopher Clayton, executive vice president for finance at Forest City Ratner Cos., a Brooklyn-based property developer.

That work included guiding E.F. Hutton's relationship with Benton & Bowles, the advertising agency that produced the famous campaign, "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen."

Clayton recalled in a 1984 interview with Lehigh University's Alumni Bulletin that he pushed for a new slogan to replace "More than just brokers," which he considered "terrible." In 1986, after the E.F. Hutton name had been tarnished by its guilty plea in a check-overdraft scandal -- and after the firm had taken advertising in-house, ending its work with Benton & Bowles -- Clayton helped conceive a campaign intended to clean up the brand.

"E.F. Hutton -- because it's my money," comedian Bill Cosby, dressed in a suit and identifying himself as a Hutton client, said in the television commercials, part of a $20 million advertising campaign.

Clayton remained with the E.F. Hutton brokerage unit from 1988 until his retirement in 2009, managing a book of accounts, his son said. In his later years, he worked in the firm's Florham Park, N.J., office.

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