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Artio's CEO Steps Down

Pell's new role will be to focus on investment management and reviving the firm's flagship international equity funds. 

Morningstar Fund Analysts, 11/01/2012

On Wednesday, Richard Pell stepped down as CEO and chairman of Artio Global Investors ART. President and COO Tony Williams will take over the CEO role and lead independent director Francis Ledwidge will step in as chairman of the board.

Following the change, Pell will focus exclusively on investment management, especially with the firm's flagship international equity funds. According to Artio's press release, the firm also will realign its international equity team. Artio International Equity BJBIX and Artio International Equity II JETAX were once top performers in their peer groups but tumbled badly since 2008 and have been in net outflows for almost five consecutive years. Given their prominent share in Artio's open-end assets under management, reviving those funds is crucial for the firm's long-term health.

When Pell became CEO in 2007, the firm ran its historical peak of $36 billion in open-end fund assets under management. Today, the firm's assets under management have dropped to $9 billion after seeing net outflows for the past five years. Additionally, the domestic equity funds are expected to liquidate very soon, having suffered from mediocre performance and small asset sizes. The two fixed-income funds, however, have performed better and have grown to be the firm's largest funds.

Virtus Core Equity merged into Virtus Growth & Income PDIAX on Oct. 26.

Isabel Buccellati joined the management team of Putnam Global Sector Fund PPGAX. The fund now has 14 portfolio managers.

Munder International Equity MUIAX will merge into Munder International Core Equity MAICX on Dec. 7.

Dreyfus/The Boston Company Small Cap Growth SSETX will reopen to new investors on Nov. 1.

Dreyfus/The Boston Company Small Cap Tax-Sensitive Equity SDCEX will liquidate on Jan. 8, 2013.

Jeff Munroe joined Dreyfus/Newton International Equity SNIEX as a comanager. The fund is now managed by Munroe and Paul Markham.

Dreyfus Small Cap DSVAX will liquidate on Jan. 16, 2013.

Nick Clay joined the management team of Dreyfus Global Equity Income DEQAX. The fund is now managed by Clay and James Harries.

Forward Aggressive Growth Allocation AAGRX will change its name to Forward Multi-Strategy on Dec. 3.

Paul Cloonan replaced Timothy Mulrenan as comanager of Pioneer Fundamental Growth PIGFX. Mulrenan is no longer a listed manager on Pioneer Independence PINDX. Andrew Acheson is now the sole portfolio manager of the fund.

Castle Focus MOATX waived a portion of its fees, reducing the expense ratio to 1.35% from 1.45%.

A special note: With so many people in the fund industry located on the East Coast, we at Morningstar would like to extend our support and sympathy to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Senior mutual fund analyst Gregg Wolper, mutual fund analyst Kailin Liu, and ETF analyst Robert Goldsborough 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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