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Rating:Putnam Moves to Lure More RIA Business Not Rated 5.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Putnam Moves to Lure More RIA Business

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Putnam Investments has created a group to focus on the RIA channel, and tapped company veteran Cathy Saunders to run it. Saunders previously led the North American institutional business. Her old duties have been assumed by Joe Phoenix, who has been in charge of international institutional efforts since 2006 and is now head of the global institutional business. Saunders and Phoenix continue to report to Bill Connolly, head of global distribution.

In an interview with The MFWire, Saunders said that year-to-date, Putnam's business from RIAs is five times the business it generated from that channel for the whole of 2008.

Saunders' team consists of three representatives calling on advisors, a platform specialist, a product specialist and a marketing communications professional.

Prior to the formation of the group, RIA efforts were housed within Putnam's retail advisor distribution team.

Both Saunders and Phoenix have been with Putnam for more than 20 years. Saunders was previously with Western Union. Phoenix, for his part, joined the firm from Kemper Securities.

Asked how she plans to grow the RIA business, Saunders said: "We're making sure that we're out in the marketplace serving the community they way they want to be served." She added that Putnam is working to "get the performance message out there."

The firm will continue to provide advisors with white papers and practice management ideas. A white paper currently in development focuses on active and passive management.

Putnam will also continue with its "Meet the Manager" program.

"We want to get our clients as close to our investment process as we possibly can," Saunders said.
Company Press Release

BOSTON, October 7, 2009 — Putnam Investments today announced two senior appointments within its Global Distribution team, naming Joseph T. Phoenix as Head of Global Institutional Management and Catherine A. Saunders as Head of Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) business. Phoenix and Saunders, who both already held leadership positions at Putnam, will continue to report directly to William T. Connolly, Head of Global Distribution. The appointments are effective immediately.

Phoenix, who has led Putnam’s international institutional efforts, based in London, since April 2006, will continue this responsibility along with the expanded task of managing the firm’s North America institutional business in the newly combined Global Institutional Management role. Saunders, who previously managed Putnam’s North American institutional business since December 2007, has been tapped to build and lead the firm’s sales and distribution efforts with registered investment advisors, considered by many leading industry analysts as the fastest- growing business segment within investment management.

“Institutional asset management – on a global scale – will be a key ongoing area of focus for Putnam and one of the primary pillars of our business,” said Putnam Investments President and Chief Executive Officer Robert L. Reynolds. “We see an enormous opportunity to further expand our offerings to this market through the combination of seeking consistently strong performance; harnessing the output of our uniquely talented, highly experienced fundamental research team; offering ongoing product innovation, and providing a superior level of client service,” he added.

Reynolds also pointed out that Putnam expects to dramatically increase its work with RIAs in the months ahead, as changes in the investment advisory business have greatly added to the size and influence of this important intermediary channel. “By building out a dedicated resource to work exclusively with RIAs and their service providers, Putnam believes it can bring enormous value to these advisors through competitive product, practice management tools, and industry-leading thought leadership,” Reynolds explained.

In discussing the appointments of Phoenix and Saunders, Connolly said, “We believe the selection of Joe Phoenix and Cathy Saunders for these important roles will be a significant milestone in the future growth and marketplace resurgence of Putnam.

“Bringing Joe’s leadership skills and knowledge of the marketplace to the Global Institutional Management role represents a strong commitment from Putnam to actively participate in the outstanding global investment management opportunities that exists – and underscores the importance of institutional management to our current and future business,” Connolly continued. “In naming someone of Cathy’s caliber and experience for our new RIA role, we are making a strong statement about Putnam’s intent to build our advisor network capabilities to serve this important segment with an expanded set of dedicated resources.”

Putnam works with over 100 institutional clients around the globe, representing over $50 billion in assets under management, through offices in North America, Europe and Asia. The client base ranges from state pension funds to defined benefit plans of large corporations.

Phoenix brings over 20 years of experience at Putnam to his new role, including leadership roles on both the institutional and retail sides of the business, most recently focusing on the firm’s international distribution efforts. Prior to joining Putnam, he worked at Kemper Securities from 1985 to 1987. Phoenix received his M.B.A. from Northwestern University, Kelllogg Graduate School of Management and his B.A. from Washington & Lee University.

Saunders, also with Putnam for over 20 years, has had a series of leadership roles in the firm’s retail and institutional businesses. Most recently Saunders was head of Putnam’s North American Institutional Business. Before joining Putnam, Saunders worked for Western Union from 1984 until 1987. She received her M.B.A. from Northeastern University and her B.A. from University of New Hampshire.

About Putnam Investments
Founded in 1937, Putnam Investments is a leading global money management firm with over 70 years of investment experience. As of August 30, 2009, Putnam managed $110 billion in assets. Putnam has offices in Boston, London, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney. For more information, go to www.putnam.com.

For any Putnam fund, request a prospectus from your financial representative or by calling Putnam at 1-800-225-1581. The prospectus includes investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information that you should read and consider carefully before investing.

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