BOSTON, February 13, 2019 — In an ongoing effort to stimulate innovation, maximize opportunities on behalf of clients, and manage its business in a dynamic, but thoughtful manner, Putnam Investments today announced the appointment of Aaron Cooper to the newly created role of EVP and Chief Operating Officer, reporting directly to Putnam Investments President and CEO Robert L. Reynolds.
As EVP and Chief Operating Officer, Cooper will oversee several of Putnam’s business areas, including Investments, Operations, Digital Technology, and Global Investment Strategies (the firm’s product strategy group).
Cooper, age 41, who previously served as the Chief Investment Officer of Equities for the $170 billion asset manager, will be replaced by Putnam veteran Shep Perkins, age 48, in that role. Perkins has been Co-Head of Equities with portfolio management responsibilities at the firm. Both Cooper and Perkins joined Putnam in 2011.
"Successfully operating in today’s asset management environment requires continual evolution and reinvention – both in internal structure and in serving the marketplace," said Reynolds. "We believe that our new leadership model, including the creation of a Chief Operating Officer role, will allow Putnam to strongly align its resources around many of its key priorities as we move forward."
Reynolds added, "I look forward to working closely with Aaron in further strengthening Putnam’s strategic focus and driving key aspects of our firm’s business goals. Aaron brings impressive intellectual depth, superior management experience, and an unyielding commitment to the mission at hand, which will only serve to benefit our firm and our clients."
About Aaron Cooper
Aaron Cooper is EVP and Chief Operating Officer for Putnam Investments, where he oversees the firm’s Investments, Operations, Digital Technology, and Global Investment Strategies businesses. Prior, Cooper was Chief Investment Officer, Equities, responsible for leading Putnam’s Equity group, including the portfolio management, research, and trading areas. In addition, he has been a portfolio manager of Putnam Global Sector Fund, Putnam Research Fund, and George Putnam Balanced Fund. Cooper joined Putnam in 2011.
Before joining Putnam, Cooper was Managing Director of Research at Fidelity Investments from 2007 to 2011. He also formerly managed Fidelity Advisor Health Care Fund, Fidelity VIP Health Care Portfolio, Fidelity Select Leisure Portfolio, and Fidelity Select Medical Equipment and Systems Portfolio. Cooper holds a B.A. degree in Economics from Harvard University. He has been in the investment industry since 2000.
About Shep Perkins
Shep Perkins is Chief Investment Officer, Equities, where he leads the firm’s equity group, including the portfolio management, research, and trading teams. Before that, Perkins was Co-Head of Equities, responsible for providing strategic direction to portfolio managers and equity analysts. In addition, Perkins is a portfolio manager of Putnam Global Equity Fund and Putnam Sustainable Leaders Fund. He joined Putnam in 2011.
Prior to joining Putnam, Perkins was the portfolio manager of Fidelity Mid-Cap Stock Fund from 2005 to 2011. Prior to that, he was responsible for Fidelity OTC Fund. He received a B.A. in Economics from Amherst College and is a CFA Charterholder. He has been in the investment industry since 1993.
Strong performance, strong flows at Putnam
At the end of December 2018, Putnam had 22 active mutual funds* with an overall rating of four or five stars by Morningstar, a respected industry observer. Moreover, in March 2018, Barron’s ranked Putnam one of the top ten mutual fund families across multiple time periods for the past decade, based on strong investment performance across asset classes. The firm ranked 7th (out of 58) for one year, 7th (out of 53) for five years, and 9th (out of 49) for ten years.
In 2018, Putnam had net inflows overall, and positive flows in each of its three primary business lines: retail mutual fund, institutional, and defined contribution – investment only.
About Putnam Investments
Founded in 1937, Putnam Investments is a leading global money management firm with over 80 years of investment experience. At the end of January 2019, Putnam had approximately $170 billion in assets under management. For more information, visit putnam.com.
*Class Y shares as of December 31, 2018.