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Sonal Desai will be the new chief investment officer (CIO) of Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group, San Mateo, Calif.-based Franklin Resources, Inc., which operates as Franklin Templeton Investments, has announced.

Desai will take on this new role upon Chris Molumphy’s retirement at the end of this year, assuming her new responsibilities Dec. 31. She will also replace Molumphy on Franklin Templeton’s executive committee, a small group of the company’s top leaders responsible for shaping the firm’s overall strategy.

Desai will supervise the firm’s corporate credit, emerging markets debt, bank loan, global aggregate, securitized, money market, multi-sector, municipal and local fixed income strategies and teams. Franklin Templeton Fixed Income Group manages a total of US$157 billion in fixed income assets, the firm says in a news release.

“Sonal Desai brings tremendous thought leadership and well-rounded expertise, cultivated through her experience in academia, with the [International Monetary Fund], and as an economist, combined with her many years of managing portfolios and leading our global macro research team,” says Jenny Johnson, president and chief operating officer of Franklin Templeton Investments, in a statement.

When Desai moves into her new role, Calvin Ho will take her place conducting macroeconomic analysis as director of research for Templeton Global Macro.

“From the time I hired Sonal in 2009, she has been an outstanding contributor, and she has become a strong leader overseeing our Templeton Global Macro research efforts. It is very fulfilling to see her taking on this new CIO role for the firm,” says Michael Hasenstab, CIO of Templeton Global Macro.

Prior to joining Franklin Templeton, Desai was an economist with Thames River Capital. She began her career as an assistant professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh and subsequently worked for the IMF in Washington, D.C.. Desai holds a PhD in economics from Northwestern University and a BA in economics from Delhi University.

Toronto-based Franklin Templeton Investments a subsidiary of Franklin Resources.