Nichole Hammond has been hired by Angel Oak Capital Advisors, a fund manager based in Atlanta, as co-portfolio manager of its High Yield Opportunities Fund, Angel Oak announced Friday.

Hammond will co-manage the fund with Matthew Kennedy, portfolio manager, in the company’s Seattle office. Hammond joins Angel Oak with more than 17 years of investment management experience. Most recently, she led research and portfolio positioning for the global banking and finance sector of Wells Capital Management’s Montgomery Core Fixed Income team, managing over $30 billion.

Hammond was responsible for conducting in-depth credit research and developing relative value-based trading strategies for the corporate bond portfolios. Prior to joining Wells, Hammond worked as a credit research analyst for the investment grade portfolio at GE Financial Assurance.

Hammond says she plans to help build on the management Kennedy has established.

“The relative value based approach gives us flexibility to invest in a range of securities and focuses on managing risk,” she says. “The cornerstone of our fund is fundamental research. The Fund takes a nimble approach, capable of moving in and out of high yield securities and opportunities quickly as market conditions change.”

“The U.S. is well positioned for growth based on improvements in unemployment and GDP numbers,” added Kennedy. “We see continued potential from synchronized global growth, which supports the outlook for revenue and earnings performance of high-yield issuers. High yield has performed very well over the past few years but remains attractive relative to valuations for other risk assets.”

Hammond is well aware she and other women represent a minority of fund managers.

“I have worked with a lot of talented women, but there are not enough of us in the field,” Hammond says. “I want to help elevate the role of women in finances and I have mentored junior analysts in the past and will continue to do so.”