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Thursday, June 1, 2023

What's Next For Bob and His Team?

News summary by MFWire's editors

The chief of a Boston fund firm offers a hint as to what's next, for him and the firm, after the impending sale of the shop to another asset manager.

Robert Lloyd "Bob" Reynolds
Putnam Investments
President, CEO
Bob Reynolds president and CEO of Putnam Investments [profile] (and president of the Putnam Funds and chair of Great-West Lifeco U.S. LLC), says that he will stay on with Great-West and Power Financial (Great-West's parent, controlled by the Desmarais family), the Boston Globe's Jon Chesto reports. Yesterday, as previously reported, the folks at Great-West and Franklin Templeton unveiled a new strategic partnership agreement that includes San Mateo, California-based Franklin buying Putnam from Great-West later this year and will turn Great-West into a key minority shareholder of Franklin.

Reynolds will step down as Putnam's chief once the deal closes, the Globe reports, and Reynolds is sticking with Power and Great-West in part to help with the Franklin-Putnam integration. Watch for Reynolds to also help with the broader partnership between Franklin and the Great-West family, a multinational family which includes U.S. retirement plan recordkeeper giant Empower as well as several wealth management and asset management firms.

As for the rest of the Putnam team of about 1,200 people (including about 1,125 in the Boston area), stay tuned for more details about what's to come. Per Franklin's deal-focused investor presentation yesterday, their team expects buying Putnam to add about $150 million to "total run-rate adjusted operating income" a year after the deal closes (i.e. by late 2024), and that income boost includes "expected cost synergies."

"The asset management game has become a game of scale," Reynolds says to the paper. "When you look at the capabilities of Franklin Templeton, they are complementary to the capabilities of Putnam. They happen to be ten times our size."

Yet Reynolds tells the Globe that finding such cost synergies "wasn't a driver in this deal." He confirms that Franklin will keep Putnam's Boston headquarters at 100 Federal Street, which can fit up to 1,000 people over 11 floors and 250,000 square feet. The Putnam team moved into that HQ in late 2018, signing a 15-year lease, so they still have more than 10 years left.

"We will remain in the same location," Reynolds says to the paper. "The Putnam brand will stay on the building."

"All the investment people will stay," Reynolds adds.

Reynolds joined Putnam as CEO back in 2008, after Great-West bought the fund firm in 2007. Before that, he was a key driver of Fidelity's 401(k) strategy and rose to vice chairman and chief operating officer in his 23-year tenure at the Boston Behemoth. Earlier, he worked at NCNB. He is an alumnus of West Virginia University. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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