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FPA's Rodriguez Is Back

Plus, Columbia shuffles tech managers, Templeton manager exits, and more.

Morningstar Analysts, 02/28/2011

Three-time Morningstar Manager of the Year winner Bob Rodriguez of FPA Capital returned from his one-year sabbatical in January (we noted his pending sabbatical back in March 2009). He hasn't resumed portfolio management duties on FPA Capital FPPTX and FPA New Income FPNIX but is serving as the firm's CEO and focusing on broad macroeconomic issues.

Both funds will continue to be ably run by the managers who took over when Rodriguez stepped back. FPA Capital is run by Dennis Bryan and Rikard Ekstrand (who had both been comanagers on the fund with Rodriguez), while FPA New Income is run by Tom Atteberry, who was named comanager in 2004.

In a recent interview with Morningstar, Rodriguez professed amazement at investors' increasing appetite for risk. He also indicated that one of his key areas of focus is preparing FPA for a possible future crisis, which he fears might occur in the next two to five years, triggered by increasing national debt.

Columbia Shuffles Tech Managers
The latest round of post-acquisition manager changes at Columbia affects the family's technology funds. It's the latest in a series of changes and fund mergers following its acquisition by Ameriprise Financial AMP.

Rich Parower has joined veteran manager Paul Wick on Columbia Seligman Communications and Information SLMCX, the technology category's largest offering with $4.3 billion in assets. Parower has called the shots with Wick at Columbia Seligman Global Technology SHGTX since 2006.

Reema Shah, who had comanaged both funds, has left. Ajay Diwan will no longer comanage Communication and Information, but he remains on Global Technology with Parower, Wick, and Benjamin Lu.

Communications and Information's 10-year record is top decile, and since Wick came on board, the fund's 15.5% annualized gain far outpaces the S&P 500 Index's 9.3% return. Global Technology's record is also strong, although not as strong as its sibling's; it has topped 70% of its technology-focused peers over the past decade.

In related news, Columbia Technology CTCAX will merge into Global Technology in the coming months, pending shareholder approval.

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