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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Franklin Fishes a Bond Expert from Thames River

by: Daniel Tovrov

Franklin Templeton Investments has hired Sonal Desai as director of research in the fixed income group's international bond department. She reports to Michael Hasenstab, senior vice president and portfolio manager Desai's role is newly created.

Before joining Franklin Templeton, Desai worked in London, as a member of Thames River Capital's global credit team. Prior to that, she was director and senior economist for Dresdner Kleinwort Wassertein, where she oversaw macroeconomic coverage for EMEA markets.

As part of her duties at Franklin, Desai will lead research efforts at the international bond department, as well as work to facilitate broader research efforts, which will especially help the firm's fixed income policy committee.

"We've seen tremendous growth in the opportunity set of government bond, currency and credit investments around the globe, along with increased investor demand for international bonds," said Hasenstab in a news release. "In recent years, client holdings of global bonds have moved from a tactical and peripheral allocation to a core and strategic part of their broader fixed income portfolios and, as a result, we have seen a significant growth in our assets."

Franklin Templeton's global/international fixed-income assets have ballooned from $14 billion five years ago to $63 billion as of end-September.
Company Press Release

Franklin Templeton Investments today announced that Sonal Desai, Ph.D., joined the firm as director of research for the Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group's international bond department. Desai will help guide research efforts for the international bond department, and provide the fixed income research team with macroeconomic analysis. She will work to facilitate broader research efforts and act as a key resource for the firm's Fixed Income Policy Committee, which provides policy views on sectors, markets and currencies. Based in San Mateo, California, Desai will report to Michael Hasenstab, Ph.D., senior vice president, co-director and portfolio manager for the international bond department.

"We've seen tremendous growth in the opportunity set of government bond, currency and credit investments around the globe, along with increased investor demand for international bonds," said Hasenstab. "In recent years, client holdings of global bonds have moved from a tactical and peripheral allocation to a core and strategic part of their broader fixed income portfolios and, as a result, we have seen a significant growth in our assets." Franklin Templeton's global/international fixed-income assets have grown from $14 billion five years ago to $63 billion as of September 30, 2009.

Hasenstab continued, "We remain committed to adding resources to support our continued growth in the asset class, and we are very excited for Sonal to join our team. She brings a strong background to this newly created position, and is a valuable addition to our global team."

Desai has over 15 years of experience in the financial services sector. Most recently, she was a member of the global credit team at Thames River Capital in London. Shaping the team's top-down global view on macroeconomic and market developments, Desai was responsible for G10 and global emerging markets. Prior to that, she was director and senior economist for Dresdner Kleinwort Wassertein in London, where she oversaw macroeconomic coverage of Turkey, Russia and other sub-investment EMEA. She has also held positions at WestLB in London and at the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. Desai holds a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University, and earned a B.A. with honors from Delhi University in New Delhi.

The international bond department, part of the Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, takes a top-down approach, looking at foreign countries' economies, geopolitical risks, interest rates and currencies. The Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group is currently composed of more than 120 investment professionals based in New York, San Mateo and London combined with local asset management teams in China, Brazil, India, South Korea and the U.A.E.

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN) is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management solutions managed by its Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Fiduciary Trust, Darby and Bissett investment teams. The San Mateo, CA-based company has more than 60 years of investment experience and over $523 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2009. For more information, please call (800) DIAL BENŽ or visit franklintempleton.com.
 

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