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Dr. Sonal Desai to be Named Chief Investment Officer of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group

September 12, 2018<< Back

San Mateo, CA, September 12, 2018 — Franklin Templeton Investments today announced that Dr. Sonal Desai will be named chief investment officer of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, effective December 31, 2018, following nearly a decade of service to the firm. In this role, Dr. Desai will oversee the firm’s corporate credit, emerging markets debt, bank loan, global aggregate, securitized, money market, multi-sector, municipal and local fixed income strategies and teams, which manage a total of $157 billion in fixed income assets for investors around the world.

Dr. Desai will take on this new role upon Chris Molumphy’s retirement at the end of the year. Molumphy has decided to retire after serving as chief investment officer of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group since 2000 and 30 years with the firm. 

“Sonal Desai brings tremendous thought leadership and well-rounded expertise, cultivated through her experience in academia, with the IMF, and as an economist, combined with her many years of managing portfolios and leading our global macro research team,” said Jenny Johnson, president and chief operating officer of Franklin Templeton Investments. “We are extremely fortunate to have such an accomplished leader ready to take the helm when Chris retires. Sonal will continue to guide Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group in delivering compelling investment options and strong performance for our clients.” 

Dr. Desai joined the firm in 2009 as director of research for Templeton Global Macro. In this role, she has worked closely with Dr. Michael Hasenstab, chief investment officer of Templeton Global Macro, in leading the team's research agenda, focusing on regional and country-specific macroeconomic analysis, as well as valuation modeling of interest rates, exchange rates and credit risks across local- and hard-currency debt markets.  

When Dr. Desai moves into her new role, Dr. Calvin Ho will take her place as director of research for Templeton Global Macro, and he will assume portfolio management responsibilities for a number of Templeton Global Macro strategies, reporting directly to Dr. Hasenstab. Dr. Ho has been serving as Dr. Desai’s deputy director of research, specializing in global macroeconomic analysis and consulting with Dr. Hasenstab and Dr. Desai directly on all major portfolio decisions. 

“From the time I hired Sonal in 2009, she has been an outstanding contributor, and she has become a strong leader overseeing our Templeton Global Macro research efforts. It is very fulfilling to see her taking on this new CIO role for the firm,” said Dr. Michael Hasenstab. “I am equally excited to have Calvin step up into the director of research position for Templeton Global Macro. Calvin has worked alongside me from the beginning and has been a demonstrated leader within the team, driving our fundamental bottom-up research, deep country analysis and macro modeling that enable us to identify high-conviction investment opportunities for our clients.”

Johnson added, “We have one of the most expansive and innovative fixed income offerings available to clients around the world. With Sonal and Michael, two of the brightest minds in the business, leading Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group and Templeton Global Macro, respectively, we are well positioned as a market leader in providing compelling fixed income investment choices to our clients globally.” 

Dr. Desai will also replace Molumphy on Franklin Templeton’s Executive Committee, a small group of the company's top leaders responsible for shaping the firm's overall strategy, which includes investment leaders Dr. Hasenstab, Ed Perks, chief investment officer of Franklin Templeton Multi-Asset Solutions, and Stephen Dover, head of Equities.  

“Under Chris Molumphy’s steadfast leadership, Franklin Templeton has become one of the premier fixed income managers in the industry. We sincerely thank him for his three decades of dedicated service to the firm and wish him the very best in his retirement,” Johnson added.

Prior to joining Franklin Templeton, Dr. Desai was an economist with Thames River Capital after serving as director and senior economist for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in London. She started her career as an assistant professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh and then worked for the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC. Dr. Desai holds a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University and a B.A. in economics from Delhi University. 

Dr. Ho is one of the longest-serving members of the Templeton Global Macro team. He has worked closely with Dr. Hasenstab for more than 13 years, joining the team as a research analyst in 2005. Notably, Dr. Ho was the lead analyst on Templeton Global Macro’s successful investments in Ireland from 2011 to 2016, as well as dozens of other sovereign debt investments over his tenure. He also continues to serve as Templeton Global Macro’s lead analyst on foreign exchange modeling, with a focus on economies in Europe, Latin America and Africa. He holds both a B.A. and Ph.D. in economics from University of California, Berkeley. 

About Franklin Templeton Investments
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. Franklin Templeton Investments provides global and domestic investment management to retail, institutional and sovereign wealth clients in over 170 countries. Through specialized teams, the company has expertise across all asset classes—including equity, fixed income, alternative and custom solutions. The company’s more than 650 investment professionals are supported by its integrated, worldwide team of risk management professionals and global trading desk network. With offices in more than 30 countries, the California-based company has 70 years of investment experience and over $722 billion in assets under management as of August 31, 2018. For more information, please visit franklintempleton.com. 

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