Lord, Abbett & Co.
has tapped a replacement for one of its muni-bond managers that departed over the summer. Marybeth Leithead
has joined the firm as a portfolio manager on its Municipal Bond investment team. Prior to joining Lord Abbett, Leithead was a portfolio manager and senior team leader at Brown Brothers. In August the MFWire
reported that Steve Leone and Lisa D'Emic, portfolio mangers for Lord, Abbett's SMA municipal bond portfolios, had been hired away by Lehman Brothers Asset Management. (see; MFWire "Lord Abbett Loses Two to Lehman Brothers Asset Management"
, August 16, 2007)
Lord, Abbett & Co. LLC ("Lord Abbett"), an independent, privately
held investment management firm, announced that Marybeth Leithead has joined the firm as a Portfolio
Manager on its Municipal Bond investment team. Ms. Leithead reports to Daniel Solender, Director of
Municipal Bond Management.
Ms. Leithead has more than 20 years of financial industry experience, with 16 years focused specifically
on the tax-free market as both an analyst and portfolio manager. At Lord Abbett, she is a senior member
of the firm's Municipal Bond investment team, where she will be actively involved in helping to develop
and implement investment strategy for the firm's $9 billion in tax-free assets (as of September 30, 2007),
with a focus on the separately managed account area.
Mr. Solender said that the hiring of Ms. Leithead is an example of the Municipal Bond team's latest
efforts to continue building out its resources in that capability. "The Lord Abbett tax-free business is one
of the key focus areas at the firm," he said. "Tax-free investments have an important place in investors’
portfolios, because increasingly investors are looking to derive more income from their investments, and
because they can be a key part of baby-boomers’ retirement income strategy." Lord Abbett’s Municipal
Bond team is comprised of 14 members, including portfolio managers, high-yield and high-grade research
analysts, and traders.
Prior to joining Lord Abbett, Ms. Leithead was a portfolio manager and senior team leader at Brown
Brothers, responsible for several billion dollars in tax-free assets. Her previous experience also includes
the position of portfolio manager of fixed income at Williams Capital Management, and as a director and
portfolio manager of fixed income at DLJ Asset Management.
In 2005, Lord Abbett unveiled a strategy to build upon its strong base of tax-free solutions that it provides
investors and financial advisors. The firm introduced the Lord Abbett High Yield Municipal Bond
Fund to provide investors with a greater level of tax-free income. It also adjusted investment strategies
for its National Tax-Free Fund, Intermediate Tax-Free Fund, and state-specific funds in an effort to
make those funds' yields more attractive to investors. The result has been significant growth in Lord
Abbett's tax-free business, as assets have increased from $5 billion (as of September 30, 2005) to $9
billion (as of September 30, 2007) in mutual funds and separately managed accounts over the past two
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