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Nuveen Hires Robert C. Doll Jr.

Dreman announces it will liquidate five of its six open-end funds, and Mark Venezia set to retire from Eaton Vance.

Morningstar Fund Analysts, 11/30/2012

Nuveen Asset Management announced on Nov. 26 that Robert C. Doll Jr. had joined the firm as chief equity strategist and senior portfolio manager, effective immediately. In June, Doll retired from competitor BlackRock, where he had been BlackRock's chief equity strategist for fundamental strategies and the lead portfolio manager of BlackRock's Large Cap Series of funds. Doll joined BlackRock in 2006 through a merger with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

Doll announced his retirement from BlackRock in early June, telling colleagues in a memo that he wanted to devote more time to his family, faith, and philanthropic interests. As of mid-2012, Doll's funds, which had included BlackRock Large Cap Value MDLVX and BlackRock Large Cap Growth MDLHX, held around $23 billion in assets and had been struggling to keep pace or beat their peers. The funds' quantitative focus can be partially blamed for the poor performance, since quant strategies have not fared well amid market volatility in the past several years.

Now, less than six months after Doll's June 30 departure from BlackRock, he is back in the fund-management industry. Doll also will assume portfolio-management responsibilities for Nuveen Santa Barbara Growth NSAGX on Dec. 10, and current manager James Boothe will step down as fund portfolio manager. Also, Nuveen and its affiliate, Santa Barbara Asset Management, will undertake an internal reorganization of certain  investment personnel and fund management responsibilities on March 1, 2013. As part of that reorganization, SBAM's Michael Mayfield will retire on Feb. 28, 2013.

Doll, who told Bloomberg News in an interview that he will continue producing his weekly market commentary and his annual list of 10 market predictions will report to Nuveen's head of equities, David Chalupnik.

Dreman Trimming Open-End Lineup
Dreman plans to liquidate five of the six funds in its open-end lineup. Dreman Contrarian Intl Value DRIVX, Dreman Contrarian Mid Cap Value DRMVX, Dreman Contrarian Value Equity DRVAX, Dreman High Opportunity DRLVX, and Dreman Market Over-Reaction DRQLX are too small to be economically viable, according to the advisor. The company did not indicate plans to shut down the $84 million Dreman Contrarian Small Cap Value DRSVX.

The funds to be liquidated were incepted between 2003 and 2011. While some of the funds to be liquidated had decent performance in their lifetimes, many never gained more than a few million dollars in assets. Currently, Dreman Contrarian Value Equity, Dreman Contrarian International Value, and Dreman Contrarian Mid Cap Value have just over $5 million in assets combined.

The funds' liquidation potentially illustrates Dreman's change in focus from managing in-house assets to focusing on subadvisory relationships. Dreman currently has $115 million of open-end mutual fund assets under management and has experienced five consecutive quarters of outflows. In contrast, Dreman subadvises three funds for DWS, which have combined assets of more than $2 billion.

Mark Venezia will retire from Eaton Vance on Dec. 6. Consequently, he will step down as portfolio manager of the funds he managed, including Eaton Vance Global Macro Absolute Return EAGMX. Michael Cirami, Eric Stein, John Baur, and Kathleen Gaffney will split responsibilities for Venezia's funds.

Jeff Lindsey will leave BlackRock on Feb. 28, 2013, and consequently step down as manager of several BlackRock funds, including  BlackRock Capital Appreciation MDFGX and BlackRock Focus Growth MAFOX. Lawrence Kemp will replace Lindsey as manager of these funds on Jan. 1, 2013.

DoubleLine is launching DoubleLine Floating Rate. Bonnie Baha, who comanages several DoubleLine funds including DoubleLine Low Duration Bond DBLSX, will manage the new fund with Robert Cohen. Cohen joined DoubleLine in 2012. The strategy may not be a pure bank-loan fund, as it has the flexibility to invest in floating-rate debt, inflation indexed securities, mortgage- and asset-backed securities, and other investments.

Federated filed to launch Federated Global Allocation on Jan. 31, 2013. The fund will invest in both equity and fixed-income securities, depending on the managers' macro views. Philip Orlando, Timothy Goodger, Joseph Balestrino, Christopher Smith, Ihab Salib, and Audrey Kaplan will manage the fund.

Mohammed Zaidi will join Mihail Dobrinov as a manager of Principal International Emerging Markets PRIAX on Dec. 6. It's a homecoming of sorts for Zaidi, who was with Principal from 2001 until 2006 as a senior emerging-markets equities analyst. Most recently, Zaidi was at Martin Currie Investment Management in Edinburgh, Scotland. Now, Zaidi is rejoining Principal as a portfolio manager and also will oversee emerging Asia strategies.

Putnam filed to launch Putnam Short Term Investment in 2013. The fund will invest in short-duration debt, investment-grade money market funds, as well as other fixed-income securities. The fund will keep an average maturity of three years or less. Joanne Driscoll and Jonathan Topper will manage the fund.

Guggenheim plans to merge Guggenheim Flexible Strategies RYBSX (previously named Guggenheim Long Short Interest Rate Strategies) into Guggenheim Macro Opportunities GIOAX. The four-member team running Macro Strategies took over management of Flexible Strategies in October.

Managers Funds has replaced Loomis Sayles with Gannett Welsh & Kotler, LLC as the subadvisor to Managers Fixed Income MFDAX. Mary Kane, a manager with GW&K, will replace Loomis' Dan Fuss as the fund's sole manager. At the end of November, the fund will be renamed Managers AMG GW&K Fixed Income.

J. Christopher Gagnier, Oliver Boulind and Timothy Vile have stepped down from running Aberdeen Core Fixed Income PCDFX. Their comanagers, Stephen Cianci and Neil Moriarty, remain onboard and will be joined by Edward Grant, Charles Tan, and Michael Degernes. Meanwhile, Oliver Boulind and Neil Moriarty have stepped down from Aberdeen Ultra-Short Duration Bond AUDIX. Their three comanagers remain onboard at that fund and will be joined by Oliver Chambers.

USAA has removed Loomis Sayles and UBS Global Asset Management as subadvisors to USAA Growth & Income USGRX. Though the firm is holding on to the fund's other subadvisors, Wellington Management Company and Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss, it has added an in-house team to replace the departing managers. John Toohey and Wasif Latif, who help run USAA Income Stock USISX, and John Jares, who recently joined USAA from The Boston Company, will run USAA's portion of the fund.

Buffalo plans to merge Buffalo China BUFCX into Buffalo International BUFIX in January. The funds are both subadvised by Kornitzer Capital Management.

Ben Silver, co-director of research for Pzena Investment Management, has joined the Pzena team subadvising the Neutral-rated John Hancock Classic Value PZFVX as a fourth comanager.

Legg Mason has decided to liquidate Legg Mason Capital Management Disciplined Equity Research LGMIX. The fund has struggled to attract assets since its 2010 launch.

Absolute Investment Management has launched its first mutual fund, Aftershock Strategies. David Wiedemer, who coauthored the New York Times bestseller Aftershock, will comanage the fund together with Michael Lebowitz.

Nuveen has filed to launch Nuveen Short Duration High Yield Municipal Bond. John Miller, the firm's co-head of fixed income, will manage the fund along with Timothy Ryan and Steven Hlavin.

Wells Fargo is launching Wells Fargo Strategic Income. A six-member in-house team, including fixed-income CFO David Germany, head of taxable fixed income, will manage part of the fund, while a portion will be subadvised by First International Advisors.

Fidelity will merge Fidelity Tax Managed Stock FTXMX, Fidelity Advisor Strategic Growth FTQAX, Fidelity Advisor 130/30 Large Cap FOATX, and Fidelity Large Cap Growth FSLGX into Neutral-rated Fidelity Stock Selector All Cap FSSKX.

RidgeWorth plans to merge RidgeWorth Large Cap Core Growth Stock CRVAX into RidgeWorth Large Cap Growth Stock STCIX. The funds have been managed by the same team since 2011.

Westwood has decided to liquidate Westwood Balanced WHGBX less than a year after the departure of longtime lead manager Susan Byrne. 

Raymond Anello has been promoted to lead manager of Neutral-rated Oppenheimer Main Street Small- & Mid-Cap OPMSX. In addition, four new managers have been added to the team: Joy Budzinski, Kristin Ketner Pak, Magnus Krantz, and Adam Weiner were named comanagers as of Nov. 15. The fund's existing comanagers remain in place.

Justin Gerbereux has stepped down from managing T. Rowe Price Institutional Floating Rate RPIFX and T. Rowe Price Floating Rate PRFRX. His comanager Paul Massaro will manage the funds as sole manager.

Clipper CFIMX, Davis New York Venture NYVTX, and Selected American Shares SLASX will waive their normal 30-day trading restriction through Dec. 31. According to parent company Davis Selected Advisers, outside shareholders requested that they be allowed to realize gains before a potential capital gains tax hike in 2013.

Associate director of fund analysis Dan Culloton, mutual fund analysts Shannon Kirwin and Kailin Liu, and ETF analyst Robert Goldsborough contributed to this report.

Morningstar fund analysts cover more than 1,700 mutual funds and write regular commentary covering fund industry news, fund investing trends, picks, portfolio planning, international investing, and more.

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