BlackRock's Doll finds new home at Nuveen

By Jason Kephart

Dec 2, 2012 @ 12:01 am (Updated 4:31 pm) EST

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

Mr. Doll previously oversaw 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 actually were third-party models that 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.”

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

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

“We're strategically transforming to become a multiasset-class business.” Mr. Huffman said.

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

jkephart@investmentnews.com Twitter: @jasonkephart