Fund Times

Putnam and Pioneer Veterans Head for Government Posts

Katie Rushkewicz Reichart, CFA

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.

AllianceBernstein Expense Ratios Increase
Recent filings indicate that expense ratios for more  AllianceBernstein's (AB) funds will rise due to declining assets. Filings last month detailed similar changes for the firm's growth lineup. This trend will likely become more widespread across the industry since most funds' assets declined during the 2008 market meltdown, as this article suggests. Below are some examples of the projected increases, according to the funds' most recent prospectuses:

AllianceBernstein Expense Ratio Increases

Annual Report (Actual Fees)
Prospectus (Anticipated Fees)
AllianceBernstein Value  (ABVAX)
AllianceBernstein Growth & Income  (CABDX)
AllianceBernstein Balanced  (CABNX)
AllianceBernstein International Value  (ABIAX)
AllianceBernstein Global Value  ABAGX
AllianceBernstein Global Real Estate Investment  (AREAX)

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.

PIMCO Pursues Active Bond ETFs
Recent SEC filings indicate that PIMCO is planning to launch five actively managed bond ETFs. Read director of ETF analysis Scott Burns' take here.

The merger of  Oppenheimer Convertible Securities RCVGX into  Oppenheimer Capital Income (OPPEX), originally scheduled for July 17, has been postponed until August 7 to solicit additional shareholder votes. In preparation for the transition, Capital Income manager Michelle Borr´┐Ż has replaced Edward Everett on the Convertible fund.








Katie Rushkewicz Reichart, CFA does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.