Evergreen Defection Leads to Subadvisory Gig
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Evergreen Defection Leads to Subadvisory Gig

The Boston Globe took a swipe at Evergreen Investments on Tuesday. The Beantown paper reports that Wachovia's Boston-based fund arm is seeing a wave of defections and that that no fewer than 17 of Evergreen's 300 plus investment professionals and analysts have moved on to "greener pastures" since the summer.

Chris Conkey, Evergreen's chief investment officer, told the paper that many of the employees are leaving because of a hot market for investment management talent. The Globe makes no reference to the defection rate at other firms and makes no attempt to untangle whether Evergreen's situation is similar to that of other fund firms, or if it is seeing more defections than others.

"On one hand, it's almost a compliment that we've been a target to some extent," Conkey told the paper. "But it's been a challenge because it can impact the culture in a firm. We've hired a lot of talented people and some of them are being wooed away. We're not happy about that."

In the case of Tim O'Brien, portfolio manager for the Evergreen Utility and Telecommunications Fund, Evergreen has made a move to keep one of the portfolio managers who jumped ship available to investors in his fund. O'Brien left Evergreen to cofound Crow Point Partners. Since that time the fund's board has tapped Crow Point as a subadvisor to the Utility and Communications fund. That agreement is expected to be approved by shareholders in December.

Other portfolio managers who have left the firm include Liu-Er Chen, who jumped to Delaware Investments to run that firm's emerging markets product. High yield bond manager Dana Erikson also struck out on her own and carried four colleagues from the Evergreen high yield bond team with her. The team is helping to form Hyperion Brookfield Asset Management in Boston.

In a similar move, Gordon Johnson took two managers from Evergreen's global quantitative equity strategies group when he went to Lee Munder Capital Group in July and Andrew Zimmerman took five fixed-income managers when he left to Allegiance Capital Customized Investments, also in July.

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