Putnam New Hire to Drive New Generation of Investment Products

Putnam Investments has hired a recognized academic to help drive development of a new generation of investment products aimed at mitigating investment risk factors.

 W. Van Harlow has been named Director, Investment Retirement Solutions, responsible for creating products and services that seek to address key investment goals while simultaneously reducing the impact of cost and risk — such as volatility, inflation and longevity — on eventual outcomes, according to a Putnam news release. Harlow, who has been serving in a consulting role with Putnam, will report to Jeffrey L. Knight, Head of Global Asset Allocation, and also work closely with the firm’s Head of Marketing, Products and Retirement, Jeffrey R. Carney.    

Harlow will also be focused on the development of asset allocation tools and planning methodologies used by financial advisers, consultants and plan sponsors in the retirement and institutional markets.   

The news release said Harlow’s statistical analysis and research played a key role in the firm’s creation of its Lifetime Income Analysis Tool and in the methodology that led to the incorporation of absolute return investment strategies into the company’s RetirementReady lifecycle funds.     

Prior to serving as a financial consultant, Harlow held a number of senior positions with Fidelity Investments from 1991 to 2008, including serving as Managing Director of the Fidelity Research Institute, Managing Director of Strategic New Business Development and President and Chief Investment Officer of Fidelity Asset Management Services. Before joining Fidelity, Harlow was a vice president at Salomon Brothers Inc., where he was responsible for quantitative investment and trading strategies. Previously, he taught at the University of Texas and the University of Arizona from 1984 to 1989.  

Harlow received a B.A. degree in physics and mathematical science from Rice University and an MBA and a Ph.D. in financial economics from the University of Texas (Austin).