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Monday, April 08, 2002

Individuals Out, Team In

by: Tony Pennino

Larry Lasser, ceo of Putnam, may be extremely well-known (and, at $17 million a year, extremely well-paid) in the financial services industry, but the portfolio managers under him will not be. The firm has decided to omit the names of its portfolio managers of its mutual funds in its filings with the SEC and other government organizations, a spokesperson with Putnam told the MutualFundWire.com.

"This decision reflects our emphasis on team management," the spokesperson contended. "Our funds our managed by teams, not individuals. So, when we send documentation to the government, we will report a fund is managed by, say, the Specialty Growth Team. People who are interested in more information can go to our website, for instance, and find out who is on that team."

"This also cuts down on refiling. Every time a manager leaves or joins a fund, we have to refiled with the government. This move cuts down on that burden as well," she stated.

However, this tactic will also make it more difficult for investors and industry-watchers to keep track of who is managing a fund and who is not. Hypothetically, if Putnam decides to sack all the members of a team and replace them with new individuals, there will be no new filing with the SEC. This will require the investor to do a lot more digging around. And it also places an emphasis on the Putnam brand name rather than on individual achievers.

Related Story:
  • A Golden Ball and Chain?; April 3, 2002. 

    See the list of all the 2002 Most Influential People

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