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Rating:Fixed Income Chief Steps Aside at OppFunds Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, January 09, 2009

Fixed Income Chief Steps Aside at OppFunds

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

OppenheimerFunds just named a new fixed income chief. On Friday the New York-based fund firm revealed that Art Steinmetz, international fixed income chief and portfolio manager of its International Bond Fund and Strategic Income Fund, has taken over as director of fixed income from Jerry Webman.

OppFunds spokeswoman Kat Herring confirmed that Steinmetz will also take over for Webman as interim head of the Core Plus team. Webman had led the Core Plus team himself on an interim basis since its prior chief, Angelo Manioudakis, resigned last month (see MFWire, 12/16/2008).

Webman, who emcees the MassMutual subsidiary's annual media event (see MFWire, 11/13/2008), will continue to serve as OppFunds' chief economist, reporting to president and chief investment officer Kurt Wolfgruber.

OppFunds credits Steinmetz, who is now responsible for $60 billion in assets, as its longest-tenured portfolio manager -- he started with the firm back in 1986. Wolfgruber praised Steinmetz for his "consistent long-term record."

The fund firm's fixed income unit has gathered a lot of attention, not all of it positive, during the recent market slide. Last month Marketwatch columnist Chuck Jaffe gave one of his "Lump of Coal Awards" to Ron Fielding of Oppenheimer's Rochester Municipal funds, Core Plus team leader, and the Wall Street Journal Fund Track column highlighted OppFunds' Rochester National Muni Fund for 49 percent YTD losses near the end of 2008 (see MFWire, 12/15/2008 and 12/24/2008). At the time, the WSJ reported that Webman would be adding Manioudakis' duties to his own on an interim basis.

Company Press Release

OppenheimerFunds, Inc. Names Art Steinmetz Director of Fixed Income

NEW YORK, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- OppenheimerFunds announced today that Art Steinmetz has been named Director of Fixed Income, effective immediately. Mr. Steinmetz will oversee all portfolio managers, analysts and traders managing the firm's $60 billion in fixed income assets. Mr. Steinmetz currently serves as SVP, Head of the International Fixed Income team and portfolio manager of Oppenheimer International Bond Fund and Oppenheimer Strategic Income Fund and will continue in those roles.

Jerry Webman, currently Director of Fixed Income and Chief Economist, will continue in his role as Chief Economist. This transition will enable him to focus all his efforts on what has become a full time role: working with advisors and their clients on long-term investing strategies and being a prominent presence for the Company in the media.

Mr. Steinmetz is the longest tenured portfolio manager at OppenheimerFunds, managing various fixed income funds for the firm's shareholders through many different types of market conditions. He joined OppenheimerFunds in 1986 and has held a number of senior positions across the Fixed Income department. He is widely known in the industry for creating Oppenheimer Strategic Income Fund. It was the first multi-sector bond fund, combining three key sectors of the bond market--foreign fixed income, high yield corporate bonds and U.S. government and agency bonds--in a diversified portfolio.

According to Kurt Wolfgruber, President and CIO, "Art has the perfect combination of investment acumen and leadership experience to take on this key role in our investment department. As the portfolio manager of Strategic Income Fund, he has a consistent long-term track record, has had direct involvement with virtually all our fixed income strategies and shown his ability to build successful teams."

In his ongoing role as Head of the International Fixed Income team, Mr. Steinmetz will continue to call upon Rob Robis as developed market portfolio manager and Sara Zervos as emerging market portfolio manager. Mr. Robis has been a key member of Mr. Steinmetz's team for nearly ten years. He joined OppenheimerFunds in 1998 as a Research Analyst with the International Fixed Income team, a role he had through 2004 and assumed again in 2005. Ms. Zervos held a number of roles focused on emerging markets strategies, including portfolio manager and economist in the U.S. and London, before joining OppenheimerFunds last year.

"I look forward to the opportunity to become even more involved with the specific teams that make up the different portions of our flagship product, Oppenheimer Strategic Income Fund, and determining the best way to position our full suite of fixed income funds and the department for future success," said Mr. Steinmetz.

The heads of all the fixed income areas, including the International Bond team, Leveraged Loan team, Commodities team, Municipal Bond team, Money Market team and Core Plus team will report to Mr. Steinmetz. Mr. Webman will continue to report to Mr. Wolfgruber.

About OppenheimerFunds, Inc.

OppenheimerFunds, Inc. is one of the nation's largest and most respected investment management companies. The Oppenheimer funds managed by OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and its subsidiary have more than 6 million shareholder accounts.

Shares of mutual funds are not deposits or obligations of any bank, are not guaranteed by any bank, are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency, and involve investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested.

The products and services of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and its controlled affiliates include: mutual funds, qualified retirement plans for individuals and corporations, investment management for institutions and sub-advisory services. OppenheimerFunds is widely recognized as a leader in educating and empowering investors and for its award-winning customer service.

Before investing in any of the Oppenheimer funds, investors should carefully consider a fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. Fund prospectuses contain this and other information about the funds, and may be obtained by asking your financial advisor, calling us at 1.800.525.7048 or visiting our website at www.oppenheimerfunds.com. Read prospectuses carefully before investing.  

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