Loomis, Sayles & Company has hired Jeffrey Schwartz to serve as the new co-manager of the firm’s small and mid-cap core strategies, including the Loomis Sayles Small Cap Value Fund.

Schwartz will co-manage the portfolios with Joe Gatz, who has been portfolio manager on the strategies since 2000. Together they will manage a total of $3.5 billion in combined assets. Both will work from Loomis’ office in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, reporting to equities chief investment officer Lauriann Kloppenburg.

He joins Loomis from Palisade Capital Management, replacing Dan Thelen, who resigned at the end of 2011 after an extended leave of absence. The company then launched a nation-wide search for a successor.

“The search we conducted to find the best candidate for this role was quite deliberate. It was our top priority to find an experienced portfolio manager whom we felt would fit in seamlessly with the existing team and the larger Loomis Sayles organization,” said Lauriann, in a statement. “We could not be happier to have Jeff join the group and we feel confident that Joe and Jeff’s combined expertise in the small value and SMID cap space will serve our clients extremely well.”

While at Palisade Capital, Schwartz managed a small cap strategy for the last seven years. Before that, he managed a small cap strategy at Safeco Asset Management in Seattle. From 1992 to 2001, he worked at Munder Capital Management, which included a period co-managing their small cap and micro-cap portfolios.

Additional members of the Loomis small cap team include Dean Gulis, a specialized mid-cap value portfolio manager with Loomis Sayles since 1992 and small cap value, mid cap value and small/mid cap core product manager Dave Cooke, who has been with the company for 19 years. They are supported by a team of global equity research which includes two co-directors, 15 analysts and four junior analysts.

Institutional and mutual fund manager Loomis Sayles more than $162.6 billion in equity and fixed income assets as of December 31, 2011.

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