Robert L. Reynolds loves a challenge. Without question, he certainly faces one. Trying to restore Putnam Investments' stature among America's top mutual fund companies after the firm's involvement in the trading scandal of 2003 and depletion of assets, now at $99 billion, a mere quarter of what they were in 2000-is a formidable task.

Not to mention that Reynolds, who took the helm as president and chief executive officer last July, accepted the challenge in the midst of one of the worst recessions in history.

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