Lord, Abbett & Co. has announced that Robert Morris, the firm’s chief investment officer, has retired effective March 31 with 35-plus years of investment industry experience. He joined the Jersey City, N.J.-based firm in 1991.
Robert S. Dow, a managing partner who is assuming the post of chief investment officer, says Lord Abbett’s equity assets were $5.1 billion at the time of Morris’ hire and today stands at some $75 billion in equity and more than $112 billion overall. “Under Bob’s exceptional leadership, the firm strengthened its investment disciplines, broadened its investment capabilities, and significantly enhanced its competitive position in the marketplace, in addition to attracting experienced talent to the firm and then organizing that talent in disciplined teams around successful products,” Dow says.
Morris fostered this team-based approach, adds Dow, in which each investment team applies a singular focus on their specific area of expertise. “As a result, five of the seven domestic Lord Abbett equity funds that have a 10-year investment history are in the top quartile of performance in their Lipper peer groups as of December 31, 2006,” he explains.
Evergreen Investments of Boston, part of Wachovia Corporation, says Robert Junkin has been named managing director and lead portfolio manager of the Evergreen Health Care Fund (EHABX) and related sub-advisory accounts. Junkin, who recently joined the firm, reports to Joseph DeSantis, chief investment officer of Evergreen’s Fundamental Equity group.
Junkin spent the past four years with John Hancock Financial Services, where he served as lead portfolio manager of John Hancock Health Sciences Fund and co-manager of John Hancock Large Cap Equity Fund. From 1997 through 2002, Junkin served in a number of positions at Pioneer Investments.
The Allianz NFJ Dividend Value (PNEAX) is instituting a “soft close” and will stop accepting new investors on April 23. The fund had nearly $5.5 billion in assets as of November 30, 2006. Top investments include Marathon Oil, PetroChina and Occidental Petroleum.
Janet Levaux is the managing editor of Research; reach her at email@example.com.