WAMCO officials created five new top-level executive positions that report to the companys new CIO, Stephen Walsh, according to a memo from consultant Wurts & Associates to one of its clients.
Officials have created five senior positions that will oversee parts of Western Asset Managements investment process, according to the memo from Wurts to its client, the $2.7 billion Fresno County (Calif.) Employees Retirement Association, which put WAMCO on watch for performance reasons last month. WAMCO runs a $210 million core-plus fixed income portfolio for the pension plan.
Michael Buchanan, a portfolio manager, is now head of credit and will lead the global high-yield, investment grade and bank-loan teams; Keith Gardner, portfolio manager and research analyst, will lead the global emerging markets teams; and Kazuto Doi, portfolio manager, will oversee the investment teams in Tokyo, Singapore and Melbourne.
The firm is currently recruiting for a head of Pasadena specialists, which will oversee the generalist team in Pasadena, Calif., and a head of portfolio analysis, according to the Wurts memo posted on the Fresno County plans website. Under the new structure, eight employees report to Mr. Walsh, compared with the 20 who had reported to the CIO.
The changes are a result of a structural review conducted by consulting firm Boston Consulting Group when Mr. Walsh replaced S. Kenneth Leech, wrote James Hirschmann, WAMCO CEO, in a letter to clients about the changes. In April, Mr. Leech took a medical leave of absence but returned in September as a strategic adviser.
Mary Athridge, spokeswoman for WAMCO, could not immediately be reached for comment.