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Former Fairholme Managers to Launch Mutual Fund

Plus, Wasatch Small Cap Growth closing, Brookfield buys Fairholme's General Growth equity stake, and more.

Morningstar Analysts, 01/24/2011

Larry Pitkowsky and Keith Trauner, former portfolio comanagers of Fairholme FAIRX, will launch a no-load mutual fund in the next few months.

The two managers recently formed GoodHaven Capital Management, LLC. Similar to Fairholme Capital Management, it will be a value-oriented, go-anywhere firm that builds focused portfolios.

While Bruce Berkowitz's firm has trimmed its separately managed accounts over the past few years, GoodHaven plans to start managing separate accounts for high-net-worth individuals, institutions, and retirement plans in February.

Pitkowsky joined Fairholme in 1999 and was a portfolio manager with the fund from 2002 until 2007. Trauner joined Fairholme in 1999 and was a manager from 2006 to 2008.

One of GoodHaven's first clients will be Tom Gayner's Markel Corporation MKL, a large property/casualty insurance company. Markel also has made a significant minority investment in GoodHaven. Fairholme owned a stake in Markel from 2000 until 2003 when Pitkowsky and Trauner were at the fund.

Wasatch Small-Cap Growth Closing
Wasatch Advisors announced late last week that it intends to close Analyst Pick Wasatch Small Cap Growth WAAEX to new investors Jan. 31.

The fund will remain open to existing shareholders and investors will still be able to purchase the fund directly from Wasatch.

In a statement, Wasatch said it likes to close funds before assets rise to a level where they would have to alter the funds' investment strategy. The fund has grown from $912 million to more than $1.4 billion in assets over the past 12 months due to approximately $216 million in inflows and strong performance. Its 28.9% return in 2010 led the average small-growth fund by 2 percentage points and beat 64% of its peers.PAGEBREAK

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