Federated Bond Manager Balestrino to Leave Firm in April

Federated Investors Inc. (FII), the Pittsburgh-based money manager, said Joseph M. Balestrino, manager of its largest bond fund, will leave in April after 27 years with the firm.

Balestrino, 58, will be replaced as manager of the $7.6 billion Total Return Bond Fund (FTRBX) by Donald T. Ellenberger, 54, and by Mark E. Durbiano, 53, on the $1.6 billion Strategic Income Fund, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. The firm said it expected Balestrino to be available for consulting after his departure.

Federated’s Total Return Bond Fund returned 4.3 percent in the 12 months through yesterday, trailing 64 percent of competitors that include Bill Gross’s Pimco Total Return Fund, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Assets in Balestrino’s fund declined 14 percent in the period while Gross’s fund grew 14 percent to $288 billion.

“Because of our experienced team, our clients can be assured that we will continue to offer the same strategies and processes that have earned our well-deserved reputation as a strong fixed-income manager,” Robert J. Ostrowski, chief investment officer for Federated’s taxable fixed-income group, said in the statement.

Brian S. Ruffner, 46, will replace Balestrino as manager of the $1.7 billion Federated Bond Fund; Bryan J. Dingle, 42, will take over the $390 million Intermediate Corporate Bond Fund; and Ihab L. Salib, 48, will take the reins of the $145 million Unconstrained Bond Fund.

Federated had $379.8 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Condon in Boston at ccondon4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel at cbaumgaertel@bloomberg.net

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