With Wadhwaney retiring, comanager Matthew Fine will assume responsibilities as Third Avenue International Value's sole lead manager.
Third Avenue announced last week that Amit Wadhwaney, lead manager of Third Avenue International Value Instl TAVIX since the fund's late 2001 inception, will retire on June 30, 2014. Matthew Fine, who has comanaged the fund since 2012 and had been an analyst on the fund since 2003, will take over as the sole lead manager upon Wadhwaney's retirement.
Wadhwaney's retirement comes in the wake of other international-team member departures. In April 2013, Jakub Rehor, who had been a long-tenured analyst named to the fund's portfolio-management team in January 2013, left the firm. Two other analysts also left the company that month, though Third Avenue subsequently brought both of them back to work in consultancy roles as the team rebuilds its analyst staff. Third Avenue added one analyst to the team in 2013 and a second one in 2014, putting the permanent research team at four for now (excluding the two former analysts who now work as consultants). To a limited extent, the international team works with the firm's other analysts; however, several of them are also new to the firm as Third Avenue has been expanding both its portfolio-manager and analyst ranks.
Wadhwaney, 60, has long been the main draw at the $1.2 billion fund, in part because of the disciplined execution of his uncommon strategy that makes his fund a good diversifier for investor portfolios, as well as the fund's ability to limit volatility in a risky category. Although recent performance has been weak since 2013 and its 7.1% annualized 10-year return through March 6, 2014, is subpar in the Foreign Small/Mid-Value category, Wadhwaney's departure is a meaningful loss for the fund. Morningstar is placing the fund's rating under review.