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Rating:A Fidelity Bigwig Decamps to Putnam Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, April 10, 2009

A Fidelity Bigwig Decamps to Putnam

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Walter Donovan, president of Fidelity's equity division, has left to join Putnam Investments as its chief investment officer, according to media reports. Fidelity is looking at internal candidates to fill Donovan's shoes and expects to make its choice soon.

"We're very excited," Putnam CEO Bob Reynolds, himself a Fidelity alum, told The Wall Street Journal's Shefali Anand. "Right now I think we've put together a great team."

In an interview with The Financial Times' Deborah Brewster, Reynolds said: "Walter is the crown jewel we were looking for, although we will have some strategic hires still."

Putnam's funds, he said, outperformed their benchmarks in the first quarter. He added that outflows had slowed.

Reynolds also said that Putnam's recently launched absolute return mutual funds were pulling in $5 million to $10 million a day.

Donovan, 46, had worked for Reynolds when the latter oversaw Fidelity Management & Research Company (FMRCo) while serving as Fidelity Investments' vice chairman and chief operating officer.

Donovan joined Fidelity in 1995.

At Putnam, Donovan will be in charge of the equity, fixed-income and global allocation teams.

He joins a lengthy list of Fidelity alums that have joined Putnam since Reynolds, who was once widely considered a possible successor to Ned Johnson at Fidelity, took the reins at Putnam last June.

That list includes Jeff Carney, head of global marketing and products; portfolio managers Nick Thakore, Robert Ewing and David Glancy; chief financial officer Clare Richer; controller Andra Bolotin; consumer sector analyst Vinay Shah; Ed Murphy, head of the defined contribution business; and Ben Lewis, head of DC sales and relationship management.

Donovan's arrival at Putnam comes five months after Reynolds unveiled a reorganization of the firm's equity investment group, a move that eliminated 47 jobs (see The MFWire, 11/17/08). 

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