Plus, news on Fidelity's Reynolds retirement, Janus' Sallie Mae win, and more.
We've said it before: It's unusual to see so many manager changes at T. Rowe Price funds. We've learned recently that Bob Smith is leaving T. Rowe Price Growth Stock
International Stock, long a middling performer, is getting a big upgrade. Smith has proved his mettle as a large-growth investor, producing strong long-term returns during his 10 years on Growth Stock. During his tenure, he beat out 91% of large-growth category rivals, and bested the S&P 500 Index. We also like that Smith has some international investing experience: He was formerly a comanager on T. Rowe Price Global Stock
However, these changes are worrisome for Growth Stock and Media & Telecom. While we've been impressed with Bartolo's stock-picking ability in the past--and he's shown talent in comanaging Media & Telecom--Growth Stock will be the first diversified fund he's run. In addition, it's not a small fund. With $21.5 billion in assets and an average market cap nearly four times the size of his previous fund, Bartolo will be fishing in a much larger pond. And although Media & Telecom's Ellenbogen is a talented manager, having served as an analyst (as did Bartolo) under respected T. Rowe veteran Rob Gensler, the loss of Bartolo's talent on the fund is still disappointing. As a result, we'll be keeping a close watch on these funds.
Longtime Fidelity Leader Retires
Bob Reynolds, Fidelity's chief operating officer who also held the title of president of the mutual fund division, is retiring. This comes in the wake of the January retirement of Steve Jonas, who served as executive director of the funds group. It's hard to know what, if any, impact this will have on Fidelity funds. A trio of executives, who have been in place since May 2005, continue to oversee day-to-day operations. Walter Donovan, Boyce Greer, and Dwight Churchill have been involved since the start with a campaign to expand and reorient Fidelity's domestic equities operation. And of course, Ned Johnson, Fidelity Investments chairman, is by all accounts still quite involved in the funds group. Fidelity has not replaced Reynolds in the role of COO, although Ellyn McColgan, who runs the firm's booming brokerage business, has been promoted into a new role of president of distribution. And Johnson's daughter Abigail remains in charge of the employer services division. Change in Fidelity's executives ranks is not uncommon. The constant is Ned Johnson, Fidelity's chairman since 1972.
Janus Scores Big on Sallie Mae LBO
On April 16, several funds run by Janus benefited when student-lending giant Sallie Mae
Oppenheimer Closes Small-Mid Cap Fund
Oppenheimer Funds will be closing Oppenheimer Small & Mid Cap Value