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A Raft of Leadership Changes at Franklin Resources

The changes include two newly created roles in the multiasset and alternatives groups.

Karin Anderson, 04/17/2017

Franklin Resources BEN has announced a handful of leadership changes slated to take effect on May 1, 2017. The changes have the potential to shape the firm’s investment culture, but it will take time to gauge their impact, which keeps the firm’s Parent rating at Neutral.

Ed Perks, longtime manager of Franklin Income FKINX, will give up his duties as head of equities, which he’d taken on in October 2015, to assume the newly created role of CIO of FT Investment Solutions (the firm’s multiasset group). Perks will oversee fewer investment strategies, allowing him more time to manage Franklin Income.

Stephen Dover will take Perk’s place as head of equities. That gives even more responsibility to Dover. In March 2016, Franklin combined his Local Asset Management Group with the struggling Templeton Emerging Markets Group and placed Dover in charge of both. Come May, Dover will also oversee Franklin’s equity teams, including the Franklin U.S. Value team, Mutual Series, and the Templeton Global Equity Group, though each will retain its own CIO. Like his predecessor, Dover faces the challenge of facilitating further cooperation between Franklin’s equity teams in order to leverage investment expertise without encroaching on their relative autonomy.

Separately, Matt Gulley is taking over as head of alternatives, another newly created role that marks the separation of the alternatives platform and the investment solutions business. He had most recently served as head of Investment Management Strategic Services, which included the Performance Analytics and Investment Risk, or PAIR, and global trading teams. The fund’s four alternatives teams--K2 Advisors, Pelagos Capital Management, Darby Private Equity, and Franklin Real Asset Advisors--will retain their own CIOs but report to Gulley. Meanwhile, Kelsey Biggers, currently head of PAIR, will take on Gulley’s previous role. Instead of reporting to president Jennifer Johnson, Biggers will report directly to CEO Greg Johnson in an effort to strengthen that group’s independence.

Franklin’s previous round of widespread leadership changes occurred in October 2015. At that time, Perks assumed the then newly created role of head of equities, and Johnson and Vijay Advani became co-presidents in charge of overseeing investment management and support services because of John Lusk’s retirement. The latter arrangement, however, lasted only about a year, as Advani left the firm in late 2016 to join TIAA Global Asset Management as president and COO.

 

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Karin Anderson is a senior mutual fund analyst with Morningstar.

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