LONDON 10 JULY 2019: Columbia Threadneedle Investments (Columbia Threadneedle) today announces that Barrie Whitman, Head of High Yield, EMEA, will retire at the end of the year after an outstanding career of more than 30 years, including the last 20 years at Columbia Threadneedle.
On Barrie’s retirement, Roman Gaiser will become Head of High Yield, EMEA. Roman rejoined Columbia Threadneedle in July 2018 from Pictet Asset Management where he was Head of High Yield, leading the team and managing several European high yield funds. Prior to this, he worked with Barrie at Columbia Threadneedle as a portfolio manager in our European High Yield team between 2005 and 2011.
Columbia Threadneedle’s European High Yield team employs an investment process anchored on fundamental research tailored specifically to the high yield asset class. A highly-integrated team-based culture combines bottom-up research intensity with top-down perspective which enables the team to deliver consistent value for our clients and this will continue under Roman’s leadership.
Barrie will be with the firm until the end of the year to ensure a full handover and to provide guidance and support to the high yield team and to our clients. Barrie and Roman will continue to work closely together and with the team for the remainder of the year to ensure a smooth transition. We have a well-established European High Yield team of eight and will be adding an additional analyst resource to the team before Barrie leaves at the end of the year.
Subject to the relevant approvals, Roman will join Alasdair Ross as co-manager of the Threadneedle (Lux) Credit opportunities Fund and will join David Backhouse as co-manager on the Threadneedle High Yield Bond Fund.
Mark Burgess, Chief Investment Officer, EMEA commented: “Barrie has made an outstanding contribution to Columbia Threadneedle. Having launched our European High Yield capability in 1999, he has spent the last 20 years building a world class franchise that has consistently delivered strong results for our clients. I look forward to seeing the development of the team and continuation of that success under Roman’s leadership.
Gene Tannuzzo, Deputy Global Head of Fixed Income, commented: “Barrie has made an enormous contribution to the firm, to our global fixed income team and to our clients. He is a recognised leader in his sector, highly regarded by colleagues, clients and peers in the industry. We congratulate him on his retirement and wish him well for his next chapter.
Barrie Whitman commented: “I’ve been with Columbia Threadneedle and before that Threadneedle since 1999. Over that time, it has been rewarding to see the business grow into a global entity with a clear focus on maintaining our unique investment approach and environment that revolves around the sharing of ideas and fostering debate and collaboration among investors across asset classes. I’m very proud of the European High Yield team and franchise and look forward to the team continuing to deliver for our clients under Roman’s leadership.”
Columbia Threadneedle is a global fixed income manager with a strong credit specialisation. Our clients value our ability to deliver consistent, sustainable returns via a full range of fixed income solutions. Our 155 fixed income professionals manage over £130bn ($170bn / €150bn) and have on average 18 years’ experience. Our European High Yield team manages over £4bn / €4.4bn across a range of funds and strategies.