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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

So What's Up With Calamos?

Reported by Casey Quinlan

Calamos [profile] has had quite a few staff changes recently. Six months after having the Calamos president title added to his already existing role of chief operating officer, James Boyne said he was leaving the company, departing September 30. Then it came to MFWire's attention that Lyda Iturralde joined Aviva Investors [profile] Americas as chief compliance officer, leaving as director of compliance at Calamos Investments.

Boyne's role will not be replaced. Instead his duties will be assumed by other senior leaders at Calamos.

Nick Calamos, nephew of CEO and founder, John Calamos, left the firm in the fall of last year. Calamos was replaced as global co-CIO by former Black Capital CEO, Gary Black. Calamos stated he left to pursue "personal interests." He has been a senior adviser to the company since 2012 and is a director of the company.

In February of this year, senior vice president and chief administrative officer Randall Zipfel left the firm. Zipfel was named to his Calamos position in November 2011.

Of the staff changes, Cara Esser, a Morningstar analyst covering Calamos, said the turnover looks natural and not indicative of major upheaval.

"They've tended to be insular but with Gary Black, this is the first time they've hired someone outside the firm to a lead position," Esser said. "Black has integrated with the firm and made changes to the investment side and they've kept their investment professionals so it seems like the change was a thoughtful one."

On Calamos' departure, Esser said, "Nick Calamos left to focus on non-profit work and they were beginning to phase out his role when they were speaking with Black about the board of director position so when Nick left they talked about the co-CIO role, so it seems like it was a natural progression and not too much out of order."

Esser said John Calamos has indicated he is not near retirement.

The firm seems to be filling middle management positions as its losing higher-rung seats, however. Calamos launched an alternative fund in June of this year and designated Matthew Dveirin as the co-PM of its Calamos Long/Short Fund in August of this year. Calamos hired Jeremy Hughes and Chris Langs to manage the firm's fixed-income high-yield funds, which includes Calamos High Income Fund in August. They previously worked for the firm Iturralde joined, Aviva Investors, where they oversaw high yield assets.

Esser said the alternative fund launch, while it is not in the wheelhouse of Calamos historically, it is in Gary Black's, and there will probably be more alternative funds in the future, though Esser said she has not spoken to the company about the prospect.

"They have said they have no interest in being all things to all people and they're going to stick with equity strategies and convertibles. They're not thinking of high yield bond funds."

The most notable trend at Calamos, however, is its increasingly global focus.

"They have recently started moving into the Australian market and they're looking at expanding in Europe. They have people specifically looking at international sectors now and looking at global firms."

Calamos has been expanding its fund lineup by launching the Calamos Dividend Growth Fund as well, which is managed by the Calamos Value Team and led by senior vice president and co-PM, Jeff Miller.

Calamos has set its sights on reaching out to institutional investors after seeing a slowdown in redemptions and hopes the equity markets will improve client retentions. Its distribution is still strong in the RIA channel, however, CEO John Calamos stated during an Aug. 6th earnings conference (of which SeekingAlpha provides a transcript, saying of the RIA channel and financial advisor channel, "Both areas have always been strong for us and we continue to feel that's a good area for us to focus on."

For the second quarter of 2013, Calamos reported that its non-GAAP diluted earnings per share was $0.22 for the second quarter compared to $0.24 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP net income attributable to Calamos Asset Management, Inc. (CAM) was $4.5 million for the quarter compared to $5.1 million last quarter.

Meanwhile, GAAP diluted earnings per share was $0.09 for the second quarter compared to $0.16 per share in the previous quarter. Net income attributable to CAM was $1.8 million for the quarter compared to $3.2 million last quarter.  

Correction: A prior version of this story listed the wrong name for Gary Black's former employer and included incorrect job-change timing for Jim Boyne and Randy Zipfel.

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