July 2, 2003 — Putnam Investments announced management changes on a number of its growth-oriented funds and said two of its stock pickers are leaving the firm.
Justin Scott, Kevin Divney and Paul Marrkand are now on the portfolio management team of the $3.7-billion Putnam Vista Fd/A (PVISX). They join lead manager Eric Wetlaufer, and co-manager Kenneth Doerr. Putnam said co-manager Dana Clark, who joined the firm in 1987, is leaving in early July.
Scott, who joined Putnam in 1988, has 22 years of investment experience. Divney, who joined Putnam in 1997, has 13 years of investment experience. Marrkand joined the firm in 1987 and has 13 years of investment experience.
Walton Pearson and David Santos become portfolio managers on the $17.6-billion Putnam Voyager Fd/A (PVOYX). They join lead manager Brian O’Toole and co-managers Tony Elavia and Eric Wetlaufer.
Pearson joined Putnam in 2003 and has 18 years of investment experience. Prior to joining Putnam, he was a portfolio manager at Alliance Capital. Santos has been with Putnam since 1986 and has 17 years of investment experience. Both are members of Putnam’s large-cap growth team.
In addition, Daniel Miller becomes a manager on the $2-billion Putnam OTC Emerging Growth Fd/A (POEGX), joining Roland Gillis. Miller joined Putnam in 1983 and has 21 years of investment experience. Mike Mufson, who helped run the fund after joining Putnam 1993, will also leave in early July.
Neither Clark nor Mufson could be reached for comment. A spokesperson for the firm did not know their future plans.
Tony Elavia will help run the $1.9-billion Putnam Growth Opportunities Fd/A (POGAX). He joins O’Toole, Pearson and Santos. Elavia joined Putnam in 1999 and has 15 years of investment experience.
James Wiess becomes portfolio leader of the $334-million Putnam Tax Smart Equity Fd/A (PATSX). Wiess has been a portfolio manager on the fund since early 2002, and joined Putnam in 2000. He has 17 years of investment experience. Divney, who was portfolio leader on Putnam Tax Smart, now becomes a co-manager on the fund. He joined Putnam in 1997.
“After a review of growth teams and investment processes, Putnam decided to reorganize some of its investment teams,” the firm said in a statement.
For the three-year period ended May 30, 2003, Growth Opportunities, ranked 1 Star by Standard & Poor’s, fell an average annualized 25.5%; Tax Smart Equity, ranked 3 Stars, shed 8.5%; and Voyager, ranked 2 Stars, lost 17.9%. The average large-cap growth fund fell 17.0% for the period.
The OTC Emerging Growth fund plunged 33.2%, versus 21.1% for the average small-cap growth fund, over the same three-year period. The fund also carries a 1-Star rank from Standard & Poor’s.
Putnam Vista dropped 21.3%, versus a 14.3% decline for the average mid-cap growth fund, for the three years ended in May. The portfolio carries a 2-Star rank from Standard & Poor’s.