Babson Gets Credit Suisse’s Mustafayev in Emerging-Debt Push

Babson Capital Management LLC hired Natig Mustafayev from Credit Suisse Group AG, adding to a team of newly hired emerging-market debt managers as the $198 billion investment firm pushes into developing countries.

Mustafayev, who was an associate economist and later vice president in emerging markets at Credit Suisse in London, joined last week as a sovereign analyst, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm said in an e-mailed statement. Oppenheimer Funds Inc.’s Cem Karacadag joined in February and Ashwinder Bakhshi was recruited from Friends Life Group Ltd. The team, started in October, now numbers 14.

Babson this month started European-domiciled emerging-market local-currency and corporate bond funds and expects to expand offerings in the coming months, according to Russ Morrison, head of global fixed income. The emerging-markets team is led by Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Brigitte Posch and Cabezon Investment Group’s Ricardo Adrogue, who joined last year.

“Prior to this initiative, we were somewhat limited in emerging markets, and that was based on the resources we had and what markets we chose to focus on,” Morrison said by phone from London. Now, “we think there are opportunities for new entrants.”

Market Growth

Babson, founded in 1940, is seeking to tap decades of experience in global high-yield and investment-grade corporate debt and will take advantage of about 50 researchers already covering the asset classes as it expands into developing nations, Morrison said.

Emerging-market corporate debt outstanding has tripled to over $1.1 trillion over the past five years, according to Bank of America Corp. index data. Developing-nation bond funds saw their third straight week of inflows in the seven days ended April 16, according to data compiled by EPFR Global, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based data provider.

Babson, a unit of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., also added Natalia Krol from Schroders Plc, Omotunde Lawal and Jintao Liang from Cosford Capital Management LLP, Darren Goldman from Cabezon Investment Group, Mi Lu from Fiduciary Research & Consulting LLC and Matias Vammalle, formerly of Citigroup Inc.

The team also includes B.C. Tieste, previously with Cantor Fitzgerald LP, and Zoe Oemcke, who had been a quantitative analyst on Babson’s global fixed income platform.

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