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Leuthold Manager Dies

Plus, DWS talks break down and more. 

Morningstar Fund Analysts, 05/18/2012

Leuthold Weeden Capital Management, the advisor for the Leuthold funds, announced 25-year company veteran Andrew Engel recently died. Engel sat on the firm's asset-allocation committee, worked on the firm's major trend index, and helped run Leuthold Core Investment LCORX and Leuthold Asset Allocation LAALX. Both of those funds had solid records during Engel's tenure. Indeed, Leuthold Core Investment's 7.5% annualized return the last decade was tops among aggressive allocation funds. Engel's death comes just nine months after Steve Leuthold, the firm's founder, stepped back from his comanager roles at the funds. Both of Engel's funds, though, have firm veterans as comanagers who remain in place.

Deutsche, Guggenheim Deal Collapses
After months of protracted negotiations, Deutsche Bank DB and Guggenheim Partners failed to reach a deal for Deutsche's asset-management business. The Deutsche asset-management arm holds $535 billion in retail and institutional assets, including the U.S. mutual fund arm, DWS Americas. The price tag was reportedly around $1.8 billion, but according to a report from Reuters the deal broke down over a guarantee Deutsche would have to cover revenue shortfalls for five years. The two parties didn't completely go their own ways: Deutsche announced on May 11, 2012, that it was in discussions with Guggenheim for RREEF, a global alternative asset-management business that was part of the original deal. A price tag wasn't disclosed.

The collapse of the deal leaves DWS in limbo. But news reports suggest firms such as J.P. Morgan Chase JPM and State Street STT may bid for the remaining pieces of Deutsche's asset-management business, including the fund family. Those firms, though, haven't issued any public comments on a possible sale.

JP Morgan Shifts Manager Roles
JP Morgan announced Jason Alonzo, Dennis Ruhl, and Pavel Vaynshtok are taking over the manager duties at JPMorgan US Dynamic Plus JPSAX. Previous comanager Christopher Blum was promoted to head of global-equity solutions for global wealth management within the asset-management division. Ruhl and Vaynshtok also became comanagers at the firm's Intrepid fund lineup when Blum stepped down from those offerings. (Alonzo was already a named manager there.)

Litman Gregory Sheds Subadvisor
Gold-rated Litman Gregory Masters International MNILX, which divides its assets among several prominent money managers, has parted ways with subadvisor Mastholm Asset Management. Litman Gregory says the departure was due to concerns about business-related risk at Mastholm. Litman added it is currently in the process of looking for a replacement. Until then, the remaining subadvisors--Marsico Capital Management, Northern Cross, Third Avenue, Thornburg, and Harris Associates--are still managing the portfolio. The subadvisor change does not affect the fund's Morningstar Analyst Rating.

Invesco Small Companies
ATIAX will change its name to Invesco Select Companies on Aug. 1, 2012.

James Pitman is no longer a named manager on American Century Small Cap Value ACSCX. The fund is now managed by Benjamin Giele and new manager Jeff John.

Gordon Scott joined the management team of Fidelity Stock Selector All Cap FDSSX.

T. Rowe Price filed to launch T. Rowe Price Institutional Global Value Equity on July 26, 2012. Sebastien Mallet will manage the fund, and fund shares will cost 0.75%.

Invesco filed to launch Invesco Global Opportunities on July 30, 2012. The fund will invest in both U.S. and non-U.S. stocks in primarily large-cap companies. Nick Mustoe will manage the fund.

MassMutual filed to launch three index funds on July 25, 2012: MassMutual S&P Mid Cap Index, MassMutual Russell 2000 Small Cap Index, and MassMutual MSCI EAFE International Index. They will be subadvised by Northern Trust Investments. A shares of the funds will cost between 0.84% and 0.88%.

UBS filed to launch UBS Emerging Markets Debt later in 2012. Uwe Schillhorn will manage the fund, and A shares of the fund will cost 1.25%.

Senior mutual fund analyst Bill Rocco and mutual fund analysts Kailin Liu, Flynn Murphy and Rob Wherry contributed to this report. 

Morningstar fund analysts cover more than 1,700 mutual funds and write regular commentary covering fund industry news, fund investing trends, picks, portfolio planning, international investing, and more.

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