BlackRock's Doll finds a new home at Nuveen

Lure of managing money too hard to ignore; new funds on tap

Nov 26, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

By Jason Kephart

The retirement of Bob Doll, former chief equity strategist at BlackRock Inc., turned out to be greatly exaggerated.

Less than six months after announcing his retirement, the 34-year asset management industry veteran has signed on as the chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management LLC.

“I never said for sure I was retiring from the business,” Mr. Doll said today in an interview. “I really missed the day-to-day of managing money and talking about markets more than I thought I would.”

Mr. Doll was also named a senior portfolio manager at Nuveen. The firm will begin seeding new U.S. large-cap mutual funds for Mr. Doll to manage in the next few months.

Mr. Doll had previously overseen the U.S.-large-cap-equity team at BlackRock and managed a trio of mutual funds.

His departure from BlackRock came shortly after it was revealed that his proprietary quantitative methods were actually third-party models he had tweaked and customized.

“I've used third-party supply, but tailored them to be proprietary, all my career, and I will continue to do so,” Mr. Doll said. “I've had sort of the view of beg, borrow and steal whatever you can. There's no monopoly on good ideas.”

Quantitative strategies make up only half of Mr. Doll's investment process. He also relies on fundamental research.

For Nuveen, which is primarily known for its municipal bond strategies, Mr. Doll's hiring marks the next step in its evolution as an asset manager, according to William Huffman, the firm's president.

“We're strategically transforming to become a multiasset class business.” he said.

There's still a long way to go. About $90 billion of Nuveen's $117 billion of assets are in its municipal bond strategies.

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