Putnam to take over e2.8bn of BT FM's assets

AUSTRALIA/US- BT Funds Management, the Australian global investment manager, will see US-based Putnam Investments take over management of A$5bn (e2.79bn) of its international equity assets when the Westpac acquisition of the majority of the BT Financial Group closes at the end of October.

Putnam, the fourth largest mutual fund manager in the US, was selected from a shortlist of 23, recommended by manager research firm, Frank Russell. It was felt that Putnam fitted in with the needs of BT’s investors, and that Putnam would ensure that BT funds will continue to be managed in a manner consistent with the investment policy stated in BT’s prospectuses and brochures.

“This is particularly important for BT investors who have invested on the basis of investment style and have taken a longer-term view on their investments – particularly in light of recent equity market sell-offs”, says Rob Coombe, executive vice president of BT Funds Management.

Putnam will manage international equities within BT’s range of managed funds and superannuation portfolios – including the BT International Fund, BT’s regional and sector funds, and within BT’s range of diversified portfolios.

Putnam was also appointed by Westpac to manage the international equities of Sagitta Wealth Management, formerly Rothschild Australia Asset Management, which was acquired by Westpac in June this year. With the two acquisitions this year, Westpac more than doubled its retail funds under management. It now has A$30bn (e16.7bn) in retail funds under management.

As of August 2002, Putnam had A$471bn (e232bn) in assets under management worldwide.

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