Plus, Oppenheimer's latest lawsuit, PIMCO's newest fund, and more.
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.
Walter Donovan has resigned as head of Fidelity's equity division to become chief investment officer at Putnam Investments. Donovan started at Fidelity in 1995 as director and head trader of the taxable fixed-income team and subsequently held various leadership roles on the bond side before being named president of the equity division in 2007. In that role, he oversaw the firm's dramatic expansion of its analyst ranks, including the hiring of experienced outsiders and the creation of the analyst career path. He succeeds Kevin Cronin as chief investment officer, who left Putnam in October 2008 for personal reasons.
Donovan is not the first Fidelity executive to move across town to Putnam. Since Bob Reynolds was named Putnam's new CEO in July 2008, he has recruited several of his former Fidelity colleagues to join the Boston-based firm, including senior managing director and CFO Clare Richer, managing director and controller Andra Bolotin, and portfolio manager David Glancy. Despite the influx of new faces, plenty of challenges remain for Reynolds and his ranks as they try to reinvigorate the firm's long-struggling fund lineup and improve deep-rooted cultural problems that have plagued Putnam for years.
Oppenheimer Slapped with a Suit
After several of OppenheimerFunds' bond funds tanked during 2008, the firm's latest challenge may be in court. The state of Oregon has sued the firm, which it had enlisted to manage part of its 529 college savings plan, claiming that excessive risk-taking in Oppenheimer Core Bond
The troubled fund was part of several other states' college savings plans, including Texas, Illinois, Maine, and New Mexico. Illinois is currently trying to work with the other states to negotiate a settlement. Meanwhile, the firm is also facing lawsuits stemming from losses in Oppenheimer Champion Income
The $747 billion PIMCO is planning to launch PIMCO Muni GO Fund. As its name suggests, the new municipal fund will invest mostly in general-obligation bonds, but it can also stash 20% of its assets in prerefunded bonds, Treasuries, and money market instruments. John Cummings, who in late 2008 replaced Mark McCray as lead manager of all the firm's municipal offerings after middling performance, will lead the effort.
Santa Fe, N.M.-based Thornburg Investment Management launched Thornburg Strategic Municipal Income
T. Rowe Price Manager to Retire
Frances Dydasco, lead manager of Fund Analyst Pick T. Rowe Price New Asia
Dydasco has run the fund since 1996, first as part of a two-member team and then on her own after her comanager departed in 2006. One of the longest-tenured managers in the Pacific/Asia ex-Japan category, Dydasco has produced a solid long-term record at the fund using a moderate-growth strategy.
American Funds Alters Money Market Options
American Funds, the largest fund family in terms of assets under management, is planning to pare back its money market lineup. If shareholders approve the proposal, the firm will go from having two taxable money market funds and one municipal money market fund to just one taxable money market fund.
Maurice FitzMaurice is out at Fidelity Select Defense & Aerospace
Disgraced former Lehman Brothers CEO Dick Fuld, who led the firm into bankruptcy, has landed at New York hedge fund Matrix Advisors.
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