Power Financial has retained an executive search firm, possibly Russell Reynolds Associates, to quietly vet CEO candidates for Putnam Investments, industry observers said. The contract of current CEO Charles Ed Haldeman expires in June, and industry veterans in Boston expect Kevin Cronin, Putnams head of investments, to succeed him if and when Mr. Haldeman leaves.
If Power Financial were to bring in an outside CEO, former Putnam executives say its uncertain whether Mr. Cronin, who built Putnams fixed-income division before adding oversight of equity investments in February 2005, would stay. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Haldeman declined to comment on his plans. Jeffrey Orr, CEO of Power Financial, wouldnt say whether his firm has initiated a CEO search but said Power executives are very pleased with the work that Putnams management team and Mr. Cronin in particular has been doing. Officials at Russell Reynolds said they dont identify clients as a matter of policy.
In a telephone interview, Mr. Cronin said hes very happy with his current job, adding decisions on Putnams CEO arent my call.