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American Century Investments Hires Total Return Bond Portfolio Management Team From Aberdeen Standard

American Century Investments, a $245 billion* global investment manager, has hired the portfolio management team responsible for Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Total Return Bond strategy. Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager Lynn Chen, CFA; Portfolio Manager and Senior Sovereign Analyst Rajat Ahuja; Portfolio Manager and Senior Corporate Analyst Svetlin Krastev, CFA, and Portfolio Manager and Senior Securitized Analyst Michael Waggaman joined American Century earlier this month. The team will manage American Century’s Total Return Bond strategy, utilizing the same methodology they employed at Aberdeen, and they will also assume additional portfolio management responsibilities.

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“This investment team has significant experience and has worked together for more than 14 years,” said American Century Global Fixed Income Co-Chief Investment Officer Charles Tan. “Hiring Lynn, Raj, Svetlin and Michael not only allows us to add a strategy that has generated alpha for its clients but also deepens our expertise in developed markets and emerging markets across a variety of sectors and helps us better serve our clients.” Tan previously managed this team at Aberdeen, where he was head of North American Fixed Income before joining American Century in 2018.

The Total Return Bond strategy is an intermediate duration, fixed income strategy that uses a sector and country rotation strategy to invest in a diversified portfolio of investment grade, U.S. dollar (USD) debt securities with the ability to invest up to 40 percent of the portfolio in non-USD government debt securities in developed and emerging economies. “We use a top-down, macroeconomic-driven approach complemented by bottom-up inputs to invest the strategy,” said Senior Portfolio Manager Lynn Chen. “The strategy seeks to provide diversified alpha by capitalizing on opportunities around the world in any investment climate. We’re honored to be joining American Century, a company that has distinguished itself through its investment management expertise and an operating model that results in a positive impact on society.”

Chen noted that American Century’s unique ownership structure was one of the things that attracted her team to the firm. “The firm provides a solid platform for the TRB team to leverage resources, and its long-term focus aligns with client needs and should make the strategy more impactful.” Each year, more than 40 percent of American Century’s dividends are distributed to the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, a world-class biomedical research organization dedicated to defeating life-threatening diseases.

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The Aberdeen team joins American Century’s Global Fixed Income discipline, which is comprised of 48 investment professionals averaging 21 years in the industry and is overseen by the firm’s Global Fixed Income co-Chief Investment Officers Charles Tan and John Lovito. The discipline represents $46 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2021.

Team Members

Lynn Chen’s investment career spans more than 31 years. She leads the team responsible for managing Aberdeen’s Total Return Bond strategy and has served as a portfolio manager on the strategy for the past 19 years, a role she has held through more than three firm ownership changes. She began managing the strategy when she joined Julius Baer Asset Management in 2002. During her time at Julius Baer, Chen built the current investment team, hiring Svetlin Krastev in 2004, Michael Waggaman in 2006 and Rajat Ahuja in 2007. In 2009, Julius Baer spun out its Americas asset management division, which included the Total Return Bond team, as Artio Global Investors. Aberdeen Standard Investments (formerly known as Aberdeen Asset Management) acquired Artio in 2013. Before joining Julius Baer, Chen held fixed income investment roles with JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management and Nippon Life Insurance. Along with her substantial leadership experience, Chen brings broad expertise across U.S. fixed income sectors as well as rates and currency markets outside the U.S. She received a bachelor’s degree in history from Peking University in Beijing and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University. She is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute.

Rajat Ahuja has more than 17 years of fixed income investment experience, with a focus on emerging markets bonds and currencies. For the last eight years, Ahuja has served as a portfolio manager for Aberdeen’s Total Return Bond strategy and has been a member of the team managing the strategy since joining Julius Baer in 2007, including roles as a research analyst and trader. Before Julius Baer, he held trading positions with  Nomura Capital Research and Asset Management and Alliance Capital. Ahuja received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Purdue University.

Svetlin Krastev has more than two decades of fixed income investment experience, specializing in corporate credit fixed income markets. Krastev was a portfolio manager for Aberdeen’s Total Return Bond strategy and covers credit securities for both the corporate and taxable municipals segments. He has spent 17 years focusing on the credit markets for the strategy at Aberdeen, Artio Global and Julius Baer. He previously held analyst roles at Lloyds Bank and JP Morgan. Krastev received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the European University in Belgium and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame.

Michael Waggaman brings 19 years of fixed income investment experience in the securitized markets. He has been a portfolio manager for Aberdeen’s Total Return Bond Strategy for 15 years, serving through the transitions from Julius Baer, Artio and Aberdeen. His primary responsibility is covering the securitized markets, including agency Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), non-agency MBS, Commerical Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) and Asset Backed Security (ABS) market segments. Waggaman has spent his entire career investing in securitized markets at Aberdeen, Artio, Julius Baer and General RE New England Asset Management, where he was a fixed income analyst focused on residential credit. He received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago.

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