Putnam Investments said Charles Ed Haldeman Jr. will step down on Tuesday as chairman of the Boston investment company, ending a turbulent seven-year run at the firm.

Haldeman, 60, who joined Putnam in 2002 and ran it as president and chief executive from 2003 until last year, is the prime candidate for the chief executive post at government-backed mortgage company Freddie Mac , the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Officials at Freddie Mac could not be reached for comment.

Haldeman was credited with restoring the firm's standing with regulators after a series of trading scandals that forced out his predecessor, Lawrence Lasser.

But Haldeman wasn't able to restore the performance of Putnam's mutual funds, which also suffered from outflows. That contributed to the decision of past owner Marsh & McLennan Cos to sell the business to Canada's Power Financial for $3.9 billion in 2007.

Power Financial named Robert Reynolds, now 57, to lead the business last year, and he has turned its performance around with a series of management changes.

A spokesman said neither Haldeman nor Reynolds were available for interviews on Tuesday.

In a statement, Haldeman said Bob Reynolds is doing a great job as CEO. This is a good time for me to advance to the next stage of my career. I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to have worked with so many dedicated and talented professionals.

Haldeman is also stepping down as president of the Putnam Funds and as a trustee. Reynolds will replace Haldeman as president of the funds board, but Haldeman won't be replaced as chairman of the fund company.

At the end of May, Putnam had $102 billion in assets under management, versus an all-time high of more than $400 billion earlier this decade, the company said.

(Reporting by Ross Kerber; Additional reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Phil Berlowitz, Gary Hill)