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David Royal
Chief Investment Officer
Mark Simenstad
Chief Investment Strategist


Remembering Darren Bagwell

By David Royal, Chief Investment Officer & Mark Simenstad, Chief Investment Strategist | 08/04/2020

Darren Bagwell, the Thrivent Chief Equity Strategist, recently passed away after battling a long-term medical condition.   

Darren was respected as a daring investment professional who pushed us all to deliver the best possible returns for our investors. Even as his illness persisted over the past few months, he elected the most aggressive treatment course.  He refused to give up or give in.

Along with David Francis, Darren built our equity research team, and we could not have had the success we’ve experienced without his leadership.  We will all miss Darren greatly. 

Darren joined Thrivent Financial in 2002. In addition to his role as Chief Equity Strategist, he served as a portfolio manager of various Thrivent mutual funds, including Thrivent Aggressive Allocation Fund, Thrivent Moderately Aggressive Allocation Fund, Thrivent Moderate Allocation Fund, and Thrivent Moderately Conservative Allocation Fund, as well as the Thrivent Balanced Income Plus Fund, Thrivent Diversified Income Plus Fund, Thrivent Global Stock Fund, and Thrivent International Allocation Fund.

Many of the funds Darren managed were periodically rated among the top performing funds in their categories by leading fund rating services. 

Darren was the very definition of a faithful steward and a fiduciary in the truest sense.

We have never met anyone who so thoroughly enjoyed managing money as much as Darren. He thrived on the intellectual challenge of anticipating the future and finding unappreciated value. And more importantly, Darren always understood whose money we were investing. He knew that members and shareholders were depending on him to help deliver on their financial hopes and dreams. Darren was the very definition of a faithful steward and a fiduciary in the truest sense. 

Even as Darren was a very talented investment professional, more importantly he was also great to work with. He truly wanted to do the best work possible and to include others in that work. His impressive investment performance reflected his dedication to his craft. He was not afraid to take on well-researched risk in order to generate investment returns for our clients and members. He was also one of the key drivers in shaping what is now Thrivent’s very deep equity research effort. Darren had a gentle demeanor, a keen intellect and great analytical insight.

We are reminded of Romans 8:37, in which Paul said, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  Darren was more than a conqueror.  Everyone who knew Darren respected his talent, his tenacity, his personal integrity, and his commitment to serve those whose financial lives depended on his investment expertise in the most caring, competent and professional way possible.

Darren is survived by his wife, their son and daughter.