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Franklin Templeton names Sonal Desai as fixed income CIO

Franklin Templeton names Sonal Desai as fixed income CIO

Franklin Templeton has named Sonal Desai as chief investment officer of the Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, which oversees $157 billion in assets under management.

Desai, who is currently director of research for Templeton Global Macro, will assume the role on 31 December 2018, which coincides with current CIO Chris Molumphy’s planned retirement.

As part of the move Desai will step down from her role on several portfolios, which includes major bond funds she oversees with Michael Hasenstab, such as the Templeton Global Bond and Templeton Global Total Return fund.

When Desai moves to her new role, Calvin Ho will assume the role of director of research for Templeton Global Macro. He will also take over her previous portfolio management responsibilities alongside Hasenstab. He was previously deputy director of research.

Details regarding further specific portfolio management responsibilities will be announced closer to the 31 December leadership change.

In her new capacity, Desai will replace Molumphy on Franklin Templeton’s executive committee, which is a team of senior investment leaders who meet to shape the company’s overall strategy.

This committee includes Hasenstab, Ed Perks, who is head CIO for multi-asset solutions, and Stephen Dover, who is head of equities.

Desai’s Franklin Templeton Fixed Income group is distinct from the Templeton Global Macro Group overseen by Hasenstab. However, the pair will continue to work collaboratively on future investment ideas.

Desai was hired by Hasenstab in 2009 and has previously worked as an economist, as well as holding positions at the International Monetary Fund and the University of Pittsburgh. She also featured in one of the first versions of Citywire’s ‘Watch List’ feature which showcased rising fund manager talent.

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