Putnam Makes Play for Institutions, Snags Division Head from Lazard

Long a dominant force in the retail market, Putnam’s push into the big leagues of institutional asset management will be led by Jeff Gould.

Putnam Investments has named Lazard’s former institutional sales head to the top job in its burgeoning institutional asset management business.

Jeff Gould—who is still listed as a managing director on Lazard’s website—will be responsible for growing Putnam’s stature and client roster among the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, corporate and public pensions funds, endowments, and foundations.

Putnam has secured a known quantity in Gould: He spent nearly two decades climbing the ladder at the firm, culminating in 2005 as a managing director and head of institutional sales. Beyond distribution efforts, Putnam said Gould also oversaw client service programs, product development, and consultant relations. He then joined Lazard Asset Management for nine years.

“In bringing aboard a savvy, industry leader like Jeff Gould to take the helm of this important business, we are confident that Putnam’s presence and impact in the institutional arena will only continue to grow,” said Robert Reynolds, the firm’s president, CEO, and Gould’s direct superior. 

As of the end of June, Putnam managed $159 billion in assets, including $85 billion in mutual fund vehicles and $74 billion from institutions.           

This is the second major appointment for the firm’s parent organization in the last week. 

On September 10, Edmund Murphy was named president of sister organization Great-West Financial's retirement business, also reporting to Reynolds.  

“The US market represents a significant growth opportunity for Great-West Lifeco,” said the firm's President and CEO Paul Mahon in March. “The new structure will allow Great-West Lifeco to pursue expanded US opportunities by leveraging the combined strengths and capabilities of our core businesses in a coordinated manner to best serve clients.”

Putnam—geared towards institutional clients—has built out its sales and consultant relations teams over the last year. It has developed dedicated resources for endowments and foundations, as well as new lines of risk-savvy products. In Gould, Reynolds saw the ideal leader to bring these efforts to market.  

"Foremost, I really liked him as a person—I liked his values," Reynolds told CIO of the recruitment process. "He has tremendous experience, and when you go out and talk to people who have been doing this a long time and ask who the real top players are, his name always came up. We really wanted to make a statement and grow in the institutional marketplace, and that’s why we took our time."

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