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Invesco Shakes Up Domestic-Equity Growth Team

Plus, Matthews manager changes, and more.

Morningstar Analysts, 03/28/2011

Invesco has snatched a prominent Wells Fargo manager and made several other much-needed manager changes in an effort to revive its U.S. mid- and large-cap growth funds. Many of these funds, which once accounted for most of Invesco's domestic-equity assets, have been inconsistent and now represent the smallest slice of the money managed by the group.

Paul Rasplicka, who had managed Invesco Dynamics FIDYX since July 2004, has left the firm, and Brent Lium, who joined in July 2008, is no longer a listed manager but remains at Invesco on the team. Rasplicka is also off Invesco Capital Development ACDAX, which he'd run since early 1998, and Invesco Van Kampen Mid Cap Growth VGRAX, which he'd managed since June 2010.

Invesco has hired James Leach, comanager of Wells Fargo Advantage Discovery STDIX and Wells Fargo Advantage Enterprise SENTX to take over the three funds and lead the mid-cap growth team. He'll report to U.S. domestic growth equity CIO Juliet Ellis. Thomas Pence (who has been on both funds for more than a decade) and new comanager Michael Smith will run the Wells Fargo funds.

Under Rasplicka, Dynamics trailed 60% of peers and the Russell Midcap Growth Index. The fund has endured a series of manager changes over the years, struggled in the past two bear markets, and posted uninspiring long-term returns, too. Leach contributed to Wells Fargo Advantage Discovery's strong track record and will apply the same approach at Invesco. Discovery topped both its average mid-cap growth peer and the Russell Midcap Growth benchmark since he joined in mid-2007.

At Invesco's large-cap growth funds, Erik Voss, who joined Morgan Stanley's asset-management business (now part of Invesco) after managing several Seligman funds, will now oversee Invesco's large-cap strategies and also report to Juliet Ellis. In addition to running Invesco Van Kampen Capital Growth ACPAX, among others, he'll manage the $3 billion Invesco Constellation CSTGX, the firm's eighth biggest fund.

Rob Lloyd, who had run Constellation, Invesco Summit ASMMX, and several others since May 2003, is no longer with the firm. On his watch, Invesco Constellation struggled. Its 3.3% annualized gain lagged both its average large-growth peer's 5.3% annualized gain and the S&P 500 Index's 5.8% return.

Ryan Amerman, who has comanaged Invesco Summit since early 2008, will now take the lead role on that fund and several others. This will be Amerman's first time serving as a lead manager.

The changes were necessary to get Invesco's U.S. domestic growth equity lineup on more-solid footing and could improve the funds, said Morningstar analyst Ryan Leggio.

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