Each of the changes announced today is part of OFI's business plan to focus on https://www.oppenheimerfunds.com/investors/fund_info/ourFunds.jhtml [OFI's core mutual fund] and closely related businesses and will allow OppenheimerFunds to better meet the needs of our clients in today's market and beyond.
New York, NY (PRWEB) April 21, 2009
OppenheimerFunds, Inc. (OFI) is enhancing its portfolio management teams by creating two new positions in the investments department. Chris Leavy has been named CIO of equities, and Art Steinmetz has been named CIO of fixed income. Additionally, Joseph Welsh will head a new unit: the High Yield Corporate Debt team.
OFI Chief Executive Officer William Glavin announced the company's priority of strengthening its investment organization and elevating its risk management function. As part of an overall strengthening of business operations, there are also changes planned in its sales and marketing operations that allow for a more streamlined approach to client communications.
"OppenheimerFunds, Inc. is committed to delivering investment excellence over the long-term," said Mr. Glavin. "Each of the changes announced today is part of OFI's business plan to focus on OFI's core mutual fund and closely related businesses and will allow OppenheimerFunds to better meet the needs of our clients in today's market and beyond."
Strengthening OFI's Investment Organization
Mr. Glavin's new business plan calls for deeper leadership of the investment organization, some of which was previously announced. Two new positions will be created in the investments department: Chief Investment Officer, Equities and Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income, both of whom will report to Mr. Glavin. As part of the restructuring, OppenheimerFunds' current Chief Investment Officer, Kurt Wolfgruber, has decided to leave the firm on April 30, 2009.
The new CIO of equities will be Chris Leavy. Mr. Leavy had previously announced his intention to leave the firm on March 31, but, after helping shape the business plan for the company, he recognized the need for continuity in a challenging business environment and the opportunity to help lead the firm into the future. The current director of fixed income investments, Art Steinmetz, will assume the new role of CIO of fixed income.
Commenting on Mr. Wolfgruber's departure from OppenheimerFunds, Mr. Glavin said, "Kurt built a successful investment department that allowed for the tremendous growth the company experienced between 2002 and 2007. As OppenheimerFunds begins a new phase with our investment group, he decided to give other leaders the opportunity to play a major role in shaping the future of the company."
To conclude a series of leadership changes for the fixed income department, Joseph Welsh is now head of a newly formed high yield corporate debt team. His responsibilities include: portfolio manager of Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund (OPCHX), the high-yield portion of Oppenheimer Strategic Income Fund (OPSIX) and all related high-yield strategies. He will continue as co-portfolio manager of Oppenheimer Senior Floating Rate Fund (XOSAX), a fund that invests in syndicated loans to below-investment grade companies.
"The creation of a high yield corporate debt team is a step we are taking to strengthen the company's taxable fixed income investment capabilities in light of what we have learned from recent market volatility," said Art Steinmetz, CIO, Fixed Income. "Consolidating the management of below-investment-grade assets on a single proven team is the right strategy moving forward, and Joe's extensive experience will serve us well."
Mr. Welsh joined OppenheimerFunds in January 1995 as a high yield bond analyst and became vice-president and co-portfolio manager of Oppenheimer Senior Floating Rate Fund in September 1999. Mr. Welsh has specialized in non-investment-grade debt investing since 1991. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
As previously announced, Krishna Memani assumed today Portfolio Manager responsibilities for Oppenheimer Core Bond Fund (OPIGX), Oppenheimer Limited-Term Government Fund (OPGVX), and Oppenheimer U.S. Government Trust (OUSGX). He was hired last month by OFI as head of the Investment Grade Fixed Income team.
OppenheimerFunds' taxable fixed income area is now comprised of three investment teams: Investment Grade Fixed Income, High Yield Corporate Debt, and International Fixed Income.
Elevating Risk Management
By giving Mr. Glavin direct access and support from the risk management, compliance and internal audit functions, the company is raising the profile of risk management and control across the organization. This response to a changed market environment allows Geoff Craddock, head of risk management and Mark Vandehey, head of compliance, to immediately join Kristina Olson, head of internal audit, in reporting directly to Mr. Glavin.
"As a result of the unprecedented market volatility and dislocation in 2008, companies across the financial services industry are taking a close look at how to enhance their risk management and control functions," said Mr. Glavin. "The new reporting structure for these groups will enable me to have direct oversight of these important functions."
Enhancing Communications Efficiency
Enhancing communications with clients is central to OppenheimerFunds' business plan. It will ensure investors', advisors' and consultants' performance expectations are aligned with the company's for a particular product.
"A key priority for OppenheimerFunds is to improve the flow of information across the organization and out to our clients," said Mr. Glavin. "We have begun exploring ways to create a stronger, more efficient communications infrastructure that will better serve investors, advisors and other constituents."
Details on the nature and leadership of these communications initiatives will be announced in the coming months.
About OppenheimerFunds, Inc.
OppenheimerFunds, Inc. is one of the nation's largest and most respected investment management companies. The Oppenheimer funds managed by OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and a subsidiary have more than 6 million shareholder accounts, as of 3/31/09.
Shares of Oppenheimer funds are not deposits or obligations of any bank, are not guaranteed by any bank, are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency, and involve investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested.
The products and services of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and its controlled affiliates include: mutual funds, qualified retirement plans for individuals and corporations, investment management for institutions and sub-advisory services. OppenheimerFunds is widely recognized as a leader in educating and empowering investors and for its award-winning customer service.
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Oppenheimer funds are distributed by OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc., Two World Financial Center, 225 Liberty Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10281. OppenheimerFunds, Inc. is a member of the MassMutual Financial Group and is not affiliated with Oppenheimer & Co, Inc. or Oppenheimer Capital.
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