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Money Management

Herndon Capital Management to close

Large-cap equity manager Herndon Capital Management is closing its doors.

A letter addressed to clients on the firm's website announced that on Oct. 19, members of Herndon Capital's board "voted to wind down the operations of Herndon Capital Management LLC and close the firm as soon as practicable."

The letter also said that the Atlanta-based manager's board informed its clients of their "concerns about the financial instability affecting them."

As Pensions & Investments reported in a June 13, 2016, story, Herndon Capital had been struggling with losing assets under management, with many clients citing performance as the reason they terminated the manager.

In just two years, its AUM was cut in half, with $5.15 billion in global AUM at Dec. 31, 2015, down nearly 50% from $10.21 billion just two years earlier. AUM dropped to $842 million as of Dec. 31, data from P&I show.

In an interview last year with Drake Craig, a principal, portfolio manager and president of Herndon Capital, he said he was confident in the firm's investment strategy and planned to stay the course. "We saw some downside in the performance of our flagship strategy, which has resulted in some attrition," said Mr. Craig at the time. "It's the normal part of the asset management business."

One month later, Mr. Craig left the firm and was replaced by Geoffrey Nnadi, who was named interim president in July 2016. Mr. Nnadi was — and remains — CEO of Atlanta Life Financial Group, the majority owner of Herndon Capital.

In March, Douglas J. Vander Linde took on the role of Herndon Capital president.

Spokeswomen for Herndon and Atlanta Life could not be immediately reached for comment.