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Putnam buys UK high yield manager New Flag

US/UK- US global money manager Putnam Investments, has bought New Flag, a UK niche asset manager specialising in high yield bonds. Boston-based Putnam, which handles $300bn of assets worldwide, already manages high yield assets worth $11bn in the US.

Stephen Peacher, Putnam’s chief investment officer for high yield, says the acquisition will enable it to sell global high yield products to institutional investors in Europe, including pension funds.

“What we have done is take a large established US high yield operation and marry it with a European-staffed, locally focused high yield operation. Our goal is to use that entity to market a global high yield product across Europe,” he says.

Anton Simon, chief executive of New Flag, says good local information is vital. “In the high yield credit market you’ve got to have people on the ground - local people with solid credit risk experience – if you’re going to win business.”

New Flag currently has a team of 11 credit specialists. These will be integrated with the Putnam team and will take over the European high yield portfolios currently managed by Putnam.

Putnam has also acquired a 30% stake of Ampega Investment AG, the Frankfurt based fund management company of the Germany's third-largest insurer Talanx/HDI.

John Boneparth, senior managing director and head of international business for Putnam, said the stake will give Putnam greater access to institutional and private investors in the German market.

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