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Fund Times: T. Rowe Announces Manager Changes

Plus, news on American Century, MainStay, Phoenix, Oppenheimer, Fidelity, and more.

Morningstar Analysts, 04/10/2006

Rob Gensler, who has successfully run T. Rowe Price Global Technology PRGTX since January 2002, stepped down as manager of this offering and is likely to focus attention on his other charge, T. Rowe Price Global Stock PRGSX. On April 1, Jeffrey Rottinghaus stepped in to run Global Technology. Rottinghaus has been with T. Rowe Price since 2001, serving first as a technology sector analyst assisting with small-cap T. Rowe Price New Horizons PRNHX, and then as manager of T. Rowe Price Developing Technology PRDTX since June 30.

Developing Technology and Global Technology are Rottinghaus' first attempts at running funds solo, so we'll be watching his moves closely in the months ahead. With Gensler's departure from Global Technology and the lack of a long track record for Rottinghaus, we'll also be re-evaluating that fund's status as a Morningstar Fund Analyst Pick.

Changes at American Century

A recent press release from American Century Investments announced the departure of fund managers John Sykora and Gina Sanchez. Sykora, portfolio manager of American Century Select TWCIX, is leaving to spend more time with his family, American Century says. American Century veteran Harold Bradley, who is chief investment officer for various equity strategies at the firm, will replace him at Select.

Sanchez, according to the press release, was on the team "responsible for American Century's various asset-allocation portfolios (My Retirement, One Choice and Strategic Allocation)," and will be departing to work at a private endowment. Portfolio managers Jeff Tyler and Irina Torelli, also on the asset-allocation team, will continue to run these offerings.

Maine Leads the Way with New 529 Legislation

Maine Gov. John Baldacci recently signed legislation that provides residents of his state with tax deductions for contributions made to any state's, not just Maine's, 529 college savings plan. In contrast, only about half the states offer any tax deduction on contributions at all, and those that do offer the benefit only to state residents investing in home state plans.

Though the amount is a quite modest $250 per-beneficiary deduction, and it will not take effect until 2007, this more-inclusive tax incentive is the first of its kind in the 529 industry. The deduction will not be available to high-income families.

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