Dennis J. McNamara, COO for Western Asset Managements investment team, is taking on a new role as head of the generalist team at the firms Pasadena, Calif., headquarters, overseeing the implementation of strategies and portfolio construction.
The move is one of several changes WAMCO will announce this week, aimed at strengthening its operations while taking advantage of the unprecedented amount of investment talent that has become available in the past year, said CEO James W. Hirschmann, in a telephone interview.
• Gavin James, director of global client service and marketing, will assume Mr. McNamaras previous role, while James J. Flick, now a member of Westerns short-duration portfolio management team, will take on Mr. James client service and marketing responsibilities.
• Steven K. Kreider has joined WAMCO as leader of the firms insurance and structured portfolio effort, a new position. He was a managing director and portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. MSIM spokeswoman Erica Platt said Mr. Kreiders responsibilities as a managing director and portfolio manager have been assumed by other managers in MSIMs fixed-income business.
• Andrew Belshaw will join WAMCOs London office in August as a senior member of the firms investment management team there, as Paul Wynn, a member of the firms global strategy committee and U.K. investment team in London, moves to consolidate Westerns inflation-linked effort, assuming leadership for both global and U.S.-based products, Mr. Hirschmann said. Mr. Belshaw was a senior member of BlackRocks global investment management team and investment head of its sterling fixed-income business. BlackRock spokesman Brian Beades said Paul Shuttleworth, co-lead manager of BlackRocks sterling business in London, has become sole head and lead portfolio manager with the departure of Mr. Belshaw.
Other previously reported recent hires include Ivor Schucking, who joined Westerns investment grade credit team in Pasadena from Pacific Investment Management Co., to oversee credit research for financial institutions; Ryan K. Brist, who left his position as CIO of Logan Circle Partners earlier this month to lead Westerns U.S. investment grade effort, and Dipankar Shewaram, who joined Western in London from BlueBay Asset Management to lead the firms non-U.S. credit effort.
Looking back on a volatile year where many of Westerns strategies trailed their benchmarks badly, Mr. Hirschmann said, we could have done some things better. With performance rebounding in recent months, the CEO said the firms ability to attract top investment talent this year who can shore up areas of potential growth will help Western rebound, as it did around 1990 after a period of turmoil during the savings and loan crisis.