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Putnam to launch marketing effort to build brand

Putnam Investments is launching a marketing and advertising campaign to build its brand awareness with investors and financial advisers, focusing on how to deal with volatile markets.

Billing the campaign “New Ways of Thinking,” Boston-based Putnam will kick it off next Monday. It will include print, direct marketing, and online advertising, and the firm said it will also employ social media and produce white papers and industry presentations.

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After so much volatility in the markets since the financial crisis in 2008, Putnam chief executive Robert L. Reynolds said, money management firms need to offer investors new ways to think about investing.

“We’re trying to present ourselves, as a firm, as one that’s thinking about tomorrow and not just yesterday,’’ Reynolds said in an interview.

Putnam is rolling out the new effort at the end of a year in which markets rose by double digits and yet it and other traditional mutual fund companies struggled to bring in significant new money from customers. Putnam’s assets rose 9 percent last year, to $128 billion.

Momentum picked up at the end of the year, Reynolds said, with the strongest December inflow of customer funds for the firm since 2000. The January rally helped as well; Putnam’s total assets rose to $133 billion by the end of last month.

Reynolds, a former Fidelity Investments executive, joined Putnam in 2008 to turn the lagging firm around. He has focused on new products and marketing since his arrival. In 2011, he inked a multiyear deal with the Kraft Sports Group that includes sponsorship at Gillette Stadium and media exposure, valued at about $10 million, according to a person briefed on the deal.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the details were not officially disclosed.

Asked whether the marketing plan takes a hit when the New England Patriots don’t make it to the Super Bowl, Reynolds said, “Not really. I think the fact that we picked up two playoff games in Foxborough really helps our brand.”

That said, he noted, “It would have been nice to have them in the Super Bowl.”

Beth Healy can be reached at
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