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Putnam and Pioneer Veterans Head for Government Posts

Plus, MFS back to hiring, Old Mutual reorganizes, and more.

Morningstar Analysts, 07/27/2009

Morningstar's fund analysts cover 2,000 mutual funds. Their full analyst reports, including Stewardship Grades, are available in Morningstar Principia Mutual Funds Advanced and Morningstar Advisor Workstation Office Edition.

Putnam chairman and president Charles "Ed" Haldeman has left the firm to head up troubled mortgage lender Freddie Mac FRE. Haldeman took over for Larry Lasser as Putnam's CEO in 2003 following the market-timing scandal. He relinquished that title to Bob Reynolds last year but stayed on as chairman and president. Freddie Mac's had its own share of shake-ups after being placed in government conservatorship in September 2008. David Moffett stepped down as CEO earlier this year, and CFO David Kellermann died in April.

Meanwhile, Christopher Smart, lead manager of the $643 million Pioneer Emerging Markets PEMFX since 2004, is leaving the firm after 15 years to work for the Obama administration. Smart, who has a Ph.D. in international relations, will become Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Europe and Eurasia. London-based John Pollen will take over the fund on July 27. Pollen has headed up the emerging markets equity team since 2005, but has been with the firm since 1995. He currently runs a European offering in a style comparable to Smart's, which should make the transition fairly seamless.

MFS Hiring
After laying off 90 people during 2008's economic downturn, MFS Investment Management is looking to hire. Sun Life Financial, MFS' owner, said strong sales growth in 2009 and increased client interest fueled the decision. MFS has seen estimated net inflows of $607 million for the year through June 30, 2009, according to Morningstar Fund Flows data. On the investment side, the firm plans to add emerging-markets equity analysts as well as quantitative and tactical asset-allocation specialists. It will also expand its distribution efforts.

Old Mutual Reorganizes
Boston-based Old Mutual Asset Management, which has $222 billion in assets under management, announced plans to streamline its fund lineup and change its distribution approach. Some moves, including fund mergers and subadvisor changes, are already in the works. As we reported last week, Turner Investment Partners has been removed from Old Mutual Large Cap Growth OILLX. Clay Finlay LLC relinquished its subadvisor duties for Old Mutual Clay Finlay China to Clough Capital Partners LP, and the fund was renamed Old Mutual China OMNAX. SEC filings also show that Old Mutual Clay Finlay Emerging Markets OMRAX will liquidate on July 30. Funds that have two or three subadvisors will all likely drop down to one as the firm transitions to a "single-manager, single-strategy" approach. On the distribution side, Old Mutual is planning to move away from wholesalers and focus on investment-oriented consultants.

DWS Shuffles Managers
DWS recently announced a flurry of manager changes. Julie Abbett has been removed as comanager of several large-cap and target-date funds. Many of these funds have faced manager upheaval and strategy changes in recent years. Abbett and Jin Chen took over DWS Growth & Income SCDGX in 2007 only to see Chen replaced by quant veteran Jim Francis in mid-2008. It was a similar story at DWS Blue Chip KBCAX. Francis remains on the funds, along with Robert Wang, head of the quantitative group. However, instability in the management ranks dims the funds' appeal.

Tara Kenney is no longer comanager of DWS Latin America Equity SLANX. Kenney was renamed manager of the $627 million fund in December 2008 after longtime managers Paul Rogers and Terrence Gray left. She had previously run the fund for a decade before taking another role at the firm in 2006. Rainer Vermehren, who was also named comanager in 2008, is staying put. Florian Tanzer replaced Kenney on July 20.

Mark Schumann, who has been with DWS since 2003, has joined Michael Sieghart as comanager of the $228 million DWS Europe Equity SERAX. Sieghart has been a manager of the fund since September 2008.

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