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Loomis Sayles Boosts Its Ranks

Mark Madden leaves TCW, Oppenheimer adds comanagers, and JPMorgan's Glen Gawronski takes a leave of absence.

Morningstar Fund Analysts, 02/08/2013

Loomis Sayles has added two portfolio managers in the wake of Kathleen Gaffney's much-publicized October 2012 departure. Brian Kennedy and Todd Vandam, both Loomis Sayles veterans with close to two decades' experience with the firm, join a team that includes Dan Fuss, Elaine Stokes, and Matt Eagan.

Kennedy got his start as a trader with the firm and has been a product manager on the team with significant involvement in portfolio construction. He has been formally named a comanager on Loomis Sayles Investment Grade Bond LGBBX and Loomis Sayles Investment Grade Fixed Income LSIGX. There have been no other changes to the manager lineups on those funds.

Todd Vandam, who specializes in high-yield credit and investment-grade assets, was named as a portfolio manager on Loomis Sayles Strategic Alpha LABAX in 2010. He is joining Eagan and Stokes on the U.S. High Yield portfolio management team but has not formally been added as a portfolio manager on any additional mutual funds.

Mark Madden Leaves TCW
On Dec. 31, 2012, TCW managing director Mark H. Madden left the firm to pursue other opportunities. Madden had been responsible for overseeing the equity research process for TCW Worldwide Opportunities, which is a total return, separate accounts strategy focused on best ideas across the entire emerging-markets debt and equity spectrum. This responsibility will be assumed by the 11-member emerging-markets research team that currently supports both the Worldwide Opportunities strategy and the emerging-markets fixed-income strategies. Portfolio structure and asset-allocation decisions will continue to be driven by TCW group managing director Penelope D. Foley and managing director David Robbins.

Madden once ran the mutual fund TCW Emerging Markets. With his departure, Rohit Sah, who runs TCW International Growth TGIBX and TCW International Small Cap TGICX, is TCW's only emerging-markets equity portfolio manager.

Oppenheimer Names Comanagers on 2 Funds
Hemant Baijal was named as a portfolio manager on Oppenheimer International Bond OIBAX, joining lead manager Sara Zervos and comanager Art Steinmetz. Baijal joined Oppenheimer in 2011 and has managed the developed-markets sleeve of the fund since that time. He will continue to run that portion of the fund but will be more involved in broader portfolio decisions going forward. Oppenheimer also named Jack Brown as a portfolio manager on Oppenheimer Global Strategic Income OPSIX. The fund incorporates several teams from across Oppenheimer's fixed-income division. Brown replaces Joseph Welsh to run the high-yield bond sleeve of the portfolio. Welsh remains at the firm as head of the bank-loan and high-yield team and continues to be the lead manager on Oppenheimer Senior Floating Rate OOSAX. Brown has been a member of that team since 2000 and has helped manage the high-yield sleeve of Strategic Income for the past year.

Longtime JPMorgan Fund Manager Takes Leave of Absence
JPMorgan announced Glenn Gawronski, the lead portfolio manager for JPMorgan Small Cap Equity VSEAX, took a leave of absence from the firm, effective Feb. 4. JPMorgan did not disclose when Gawronski would return to the helm of the fund. Don San Jose now serves as the fund's lead manager, having been a comanager on the fund since November 2007 and an analyst for the fund since 2004. JPMorgan named its CIO of growth and small-cap equities, Chris Jones, to be the fund's new comanager. Gawronski had delivered one of the best records in the small-growth category. Since he was named the lead manager in September 2004, the fund returned 11.8% annualized through Feb. 4, topping all but one of its rivals. The fund has $2.5 billion in assets and currently is closed to new investors.

New Trustees and Chairman Named to JPMorgan's Fund Board
Following three retirements from its fund board at the end of 2012, JPMorgan announced several changes to the board. Matthew Goldstein was named chairman, replacing Fergus Reid, who held that role since 2005 and recently retired. Goldstein has been an independent trustee on the board since 2003. The board brought on board three new trustees: Mary Martinez, Mitchell Merin, and Marian Pardo. All three new members have previous experience in the asset-management industry.

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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