Francis Claro has been appointed head of Evergreen Investments' international developed markets equity team. Claro, a 13-year company veteran, will also take over as portfolio manager of Evergreen International Equity Fund, Evergreen VA International Equity Fund and the equity portion of Evergreen International Balanced Income Fund, in addition to separately managed institutional and sub-advisory accounts. Claro will succeed longtime portfolio manager Gilman C. Gunn III, who is retiring from Evergreen, effective July 31.
Evergreen Investments announced effective today that Francis Claro has been appointed head of Evergreen's International Developed Markets Equity Team and portfolio manager of Evergreen International Equity Fund (EKZAX), Evergreen VA International Equity Fund and the equity portion of Evergreen International Balanced Income Fund (EBI), in addition to separately managed institutional and sub-advisory accounts. Claro will succeed longtime portfolio manager Gilman C. Gunn III, who is retiring from Evergreen, effective July 31, 2007. Gunn and Claro will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition over the next two months.
"We thank Gilman for his 16 years of service. He has always put our shareholders first and has been a tremendous asset to Evergreen's success," said Christopher P. Conkey, Evergreen's chief investment officer. "Gilman has conducted himself with the utmost professionalism over more than three decades in the investment industry, and we wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement."
As the head of Evergreen's International Developed Markets Equity Team, Claro will manage a group composed of eight analysts and portfolio managers with an average experience of more than 14 years, responsible for more than $6.9 billion in assets under management in mutual funds and separately managed accounts.
"After more than 20 years in the industry and 13 years at Evergreen, Francis is uniquely qualified to succeed Gilman in this role. He has built a strong investment record, partnered with investment professionals and worked with Evergreen's lines of business to meet the needs of our clients and shareholders," said Joseph DeSantis, chief investment officer of Evergreen's Fundamental Equity Group. "Francis is an experienced stock picker, alpha- seeker and investment leader, highly capable of leading the International Developed Markets Equity Team."
Claro will continue to manage the non-U.S. portion of Evergreen Global Opportunities Fund in addition to separately managed institutional and sub- advisory accounts. He began managing European equities for Evergreen Global Opportunities Fund in 1999 and assumed his current role in 2002. His prior fund management experience at Evergreen includes co-manager assignments on Evergreen Latin America and Evergreen Emerging Markets funds. Claro joined Evergreen in 1994 as an international equity research analyst.
Claro's previous experience includes investment management responsibilities with the Inter-American Investment Corporation and working as an international consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He began his career in the investment industry in 1986. He received a bachelor's degree in business from ESADE in Barcelona, Spain, a master's degree in economics from the London School of Economics and a master's of business administration from the Harvard Business School. Claro has been awarded the use of the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation by the CFA Institute and is a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society.
In addition, Michael Bradshaw has been named portfolio manager of Evergreen Precious Metals Fund, effective immediately. Bradshaw succeeds Joseph Wickwire, who has chosen to pursue other opportunities outside of Evergreen.
"As an analyst, former portfolio manager and trained geologist, Michael brings a unique perspective to understanding and valuing the intrinsic worth of precious metals and mining stocks-both the hard assets and the companies mining them," said Claro. "Since joining the firm last year, Michael has added considerable value and insight into the metals and mining category for all of the portfolios managed by the international equity teams."
Bradshaw joined Evergreen in October 2006 as a senior equity analyst covering metals and mining stocks, supporting Evergreen Precious Metals Fund. Previously, he was a portfolio manager and senior equity analyst at Pioneer Investments, where his duties included research coverage of the materials sector and managing Pioneer Gold Fund in 1997 and 1998. Prior to that, Bradshaw was a research associate covering gold mining at CIBC World Markets. Before joining the investment industry in 1994, he worked for six years as a geologist, which included exploration and governmental research projects. Bradshaw earned his bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Western Ontario and received a master's of business administration from the University of Toronto. Bradshaw has been awarded the use of the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation by the CFA Institute and he is a member of the Boston Securities Analysts Society and the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts.
About Evergreen Investments
Evergreen Investments is the brand name under which Wachovia Corporation (NYSE:WB) conducts its investment management business. Wachovia Global Asset Management is the brand name under which Evergreen Investments conducts sales and distribution business outside of the United States. Combined, the groups serve more than four million individual and institutional investors through a broad range of investment products. Led by 300 investment professionals, Evergreen Investments strives to meet client investment objectives through disciplined, team-based asset management. Evergreen Investments manages more than $312 billion in assets (as of March 31, 2007). Please visit EvergreenInvestments.com for more information about Evergreen Investments.
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