Nick C. Thakore and Robert D. Ewing will join Putnam Investments on Nov. 3 as managing directors and portfolio managers of Putnam's large-cap equities team.
In addition to overseeing Putnam's large-cap equities, which new CEO Robert L. Reynolds has called a focus of his rebuilding efforts there, the two veteran investors will each oversee one of the Boston-based firm's struggling flagship funds: Mr. Thakore will become portfolio manager of the $4 billion large-cap growth equity Putnam Voyager fund, while Mr. Ewing will become portfolio manager of the Putnam Fund for Growth and Income, a $7.2 billion large-cap value equity offering.
Messrs. Thakore and Ewing come to Putnam from the Boston office of RiverSource Investments LLC, where they each managed roughly a third of the $3.5 billion RiverSource Large Cap Equity fund, as well as $2 billion in variable annuity money in the same strategy. Mr. Thakore also managed the $1.8 billion RiverSource Growth fund and Mr. Ewing managed the equity portion of the $712 million RiverSource Balanced fund.
Large-cap equities are vital to most investors core portfolios, and Nick and Bob bring the experience we need to excel in that category, Mr. Reynolds said in a news release announcing the move.
The announcement said Putnams global asset allocation team, led by Jeffrey L. Knight which has managed the Voyager fund since January will return to focusing on the firms suite of asset allocation funds. Eric Harthun, who has served as portfolio leader of the Growth and Income fund for the past two years, will return to his core expertise on the team managing the Putnam Small Cap Value fund.
In a statement, RiverSource spokesman Ryan Lund said the funds overseen by Messrs. Thakore and Ewing will be reassigned to other portfolio managers.
Before joining Minneapolis-based RiverSource in 2002, Messrs. Thakore and Ewing worked at Fidelity Investments, where Mr. Reynolds served as vice chairman and COO until he resigned on June 30, 2007. When Mr. Thakore left Fidelity, he was serving as portfolio manager of the Fidelity Fund. Mr. Ewing had been manager of the Fidelity Balanced Fund.
The hiring of the two large-cap equity investors was the second time in recent weeks that Mr. Reynolds has tapped former colleagues from Fidelity to help him turn around Putnams fortunes. On Oct. 9, Putnam announced that Jeffrey R. Carney, who had served under Mr. Reynolds as president of Fidelity Retirement Services, would join the firm Oct. 27 as a senior managing director and head of global marketing and products.