Putnam Investments at a Glance

The Buzz

  • "Should look for a new image"
  • "Well known"
  • "Performing poorly, not growing"
  • "High quality"

About Putnam Investments

Bean town shop gets new parent

With approximately $114 billion in assets under management, Boston-based Putnam Investments is one of the largest mutual fund managers in the world.  It provides investment management for institutional and individual clients, offering 78 mutual funds, as well as 401(k) and individual retirement account (IRA) services and alternative investments.  The company has more than six million shareholder accounts and 102 institutional clients.  In addition to its Boston headquarters, the firm has offices in Tokyo, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Sydney, Singapore and London.

Prudent Putnam

George Putnam founded Putnam in 1937 with The George Putnam Fund of Boston, a balanced mutual fund with a flexible mix of stocks and bonds.  Almost 40 years of mutual fund activity later, Marsh & McLennan acquired Putnam in 1970, but Putnam didn't stand still in its quest to attract new business.  In 2001, the company teamed with private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners to offer a fund targeted to wealthy investors, the $1.1 billion TH Lee Putnam Ventures fund.  The fund looks for later-stage venture companies in the technology sector and generally invests between $20 million and $50 million in a company.

Not cutting it

In January 2006, Putnam's assets under management had dropped from $267 billion to $191 billion in almost two years, and institutional clients dropped from 700 to 175.  Despite Haldeman’s cheerleading early on, by Sept. 30, 2006, Putnam’s assets had fallen further still to $182 billion, and revenue had dropped 8 percent to $342 million.  In the end, Marsh & McLennan received more than 30 inquiries and seven serious bids for Putnam, and in February 2007, Great-West Lifeco inked a deal to acquire Putnam for $3.9 billion in cash.

Done deal

In May 2007, shareholders in Putnam’s 105 funds seconded the sale to North America’s fifth-largest life insurer Great-West Lifeco which doubled its assets worldwide with the addition of Putnam.  The deal also helped Great-West’s parent company, the Montreal-based Power Corporation of Canada, to achieve its goal of expansion in the United States.  Previously, Great-West’s main business in America was providing medical insurance to slightly more than 2 million consumers.

Cutting and merging

In November 2008, Putnam Investments fired 12 of its money managers and, in an effort to further cut costs, slashed 35 more jobs and merged six of its funds into bigger ones.  The firm's assets had fallen 39 percent in the past year, and cutting approximately 2 percent of its 2,500 workers was one of the first steps the firm had taken to reduce costs.  Another cost-cutting move Putnam undertook was to change its bonus structure so that only top performers will receive bonuses.  These downsizing measures helped improve the firm’s financial health, as its $110 billion assets under management on Aug. 31, 2009 increased to about $114 billion on Sept. 30, 2009.

- Show Less + Show Full Description

Putnam Investments

P.O. Box 8383
Boston, MA 02266-8383
Phone: (617) 292-1000
Fax: (617) 482-3610


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: Robert L. Reynolds
  • 2007 Employees: 3,000

Major Office Locations

  • Boston, MA
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Tokyo, Japan