New Putnam CEO Has One Thought in Mind – Winning

June 12, 2008 ( - In a conference call welcoming Robert J. "Bob" Reynolds as Putnam Investments President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1, Reynolds said he approaches his new role with one thought in mind - "Winning."

“As we move forward, Putnam will be a winner in the money management industry,” Reynolds added. Reynolds will replace Charles E. “Ed” Haldeman, who will continue as Chairman of Putnam Investment Management, LLC (See Former Fidelity COO to Lead Putnam Investments).

Reynolds conceded that Putnam has had some heavy fund outflows in the past few years, but noted many asset classes have seen positive asset flows. However, that has not been the case in the equity asset class and Reynolds said the team is working on that. He also pointed to yesterday’s announcement of new senior portfolio managers as a sign of action on that regard (See Putnam Takes on Portfolio Managers from American Century ).

Reynolds said that after a period of getting to know the organization and its people, he will be taking a look at its product lineup to make sure Putnam is represented in all investment areas. He stressed that he believes the Putnam brand is an asset, not a liability, and the firm will remain with the Putnam brand.

Defined Contribution Future

Reynolds asserted that Putnam will have a large role in the growth of the Defined Contribution business. He said Putnam Investments will look at the many ways in which we can participate in DC area – including asset management and recordkeeping. Reynolds is a big fan of bundling and thinks it will be essential to Putnam going forward.

More specifically, Reynolds noted that the aging of baby boomers is creating the largest movement of capital in this country – with assets of $7 trillion now in the over-60 market and growing to $20 trillion by 2012 – and Putnam wants to position with partners to have the right products and services for this group. He noted that the move to a DC retirement landscape is also a worldwide phenomenon, and Putnam wants to be a player.

Reynolds also recognized that the defined benefit retirement plan market also still has $2 trillion in assets, and to grow the DB business, Putnam must be creative and offer the right products to take the business away from competitors.

“Best Team on the Field”

One advantage in Reynolds’ experience at Fidelity, he noted, is it gave him a look at what is happening in the retirement marketplace, knowledge of what competitors have and do not have, and knowledge of what it takes to compete. Using another sports analogy (Reynolds was a finalist for NFL Commissioner last year), he said he wants “the best team on the field” and if Putnam has to go outside of the firm to get that, it will.

Finally, Reynolds said that cost-cutting is not on his agenda. “No company has ever cut their way to success or greatness, but any organization should be efficient and resources should be in right place,” he commented.