BOSTON — Evergreen Investments has been plagued by a rash of employee turnover in recent months, losing roughly 20 investment professionals, including several teams.
Until now, the Boston-based money management firm, which manages roughly $250 billion, has maintained low levels of turnover. Now, however, staffers are defecting to smaller boutiques and private equity-backed startups.
The most recent departures follow a restructuring of Evergreen's fixed-income business started during the summer, as well as a new compensation structure for investment professionals put in place last year, former employees say.
"When you see this many experienced people leaving over such a short period of time, it tells you that they're looking for a better platform for their careers," said one former employee, who declined to be identified.
Christopher Conkey, Evergreen's chief investment officer, acknowledged some of the turnover was related to the restructuring, which streamlined its fixed-income teams and organized management, products and research along more logical lines. He insists, however, that the turnover wasn't tied to the new compensation structure.
Evergreen's pay system is "extremely competitive" and market-driven, Mr. Conkey said in a telephone interview from San Francisco, where he was meeting with investment consultants to discuss the personnel changes.
Evergreen's new compensation structure examines fewer competitors to determine the levels of investment professionals' base pay. Before, Evergreen used a broader universe, but now it looks more at firms similar to Evergreen's size. The structure also makes comparisons with those firms based on individual portfolio managers' investment platforms — comparing its fixed-income managers with other fixed-income firms, for example.