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Nuveen Hires Robert C. Doll Jr.

Dreman announces it will liquidate five of its six open-end funds, and Mark Venezia set to retire from Eaton Vance.

Morningstar Fund Analysts, 11/30/2012

Nuveen Asset Management announced on Nov. 26 that Robert C. Doll Jr. had joined the firm as chief equity strategist and senior portfolio manager, effective immediately. In June, Doll retired from competitor BlackRock, where he had been BlackRock's chief equity strategist for fundamental strategies and the lead portfolio manager of BlackRock's Large Cap Series of funds. Doll joined BlackRock in 2006 through a merger with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

Doll announced his retirement from BlackRock in early June, telling colleagues in a memo that he wanted to devote more time to his family, faith, and philanthropic interests. As of mid-2012, Doll's funds, which had included BlackRock Large Cap Value MDLVX and BlackRock Large Cap Growth MDLHX, held around $23 billion in assets and had been struggling to keep pace or beat their peers. The funds' quantitative focus can be partially blamed for the poor performance, since quant strategies have not fared well amid market volatility in the past several years.

Now, less than six months after Doll's June 30 departure from BlackRock, he is back in the fund-management industry. Doll also will assume portfolio-management responsibilities for Nuveen Santa Barbara Growth NSAGX on Dec. 10, and current manager James Boothe will step down as fund portfolio manager. Also, Nuveen and its affiliate, Santa Barbara Asset Management, will undertake an internal reorganization of certain  investment personnel and fund management responsibilities on March 1, 2013. As part of that reorganization, SBAM's Michael Mayfield will retire on Feb. 28, 2013.

Doll, who told Bloomberg News in an interview that he will continue producing his weekly market commentary and his annual list of 10 market predictions will report to Nuveen's head of equities, David Chalupnik.

Dreman Trimming Open-End Lineup
Dreman plans to liquidate five of the six funds in its open-end lineup. Dreman Contrarian Intl Value DRIVX, Dreman Contrarian Mid Cap Value DRMVX, Dreman Contrarian Value Equity DRVAX, Dreman High Opportunity DRLVX, and Dreman Market Over-Reaction DRQLX are too small to be economically viable, according to the advisor. The company did not indicate plans to shut down the $84 million Dreman Contrarian Small Cap Value DRSVX.

The funds to be liquidated were incepted between 2003 and 2011. While some of the funds to be liquidated had decent performance in their lifetimes, many never gained more than a few million dollars in assets. Currently, Dreman Contrarian Value Equity, Dreman Contrarian International Value, and Dreman Contrarian Mid Cap Value have just over $5 million in assets combined.

The funds' liquidation potentially illustrates Dreman's change in focus from managing in-house assets to focusing on subadvisory relationships. Dreman currently has $115 million of open-end mutual fund assets under management and has experienced five consecutive quarters of outflows. In contrast, Dreman subadvises three funds for DWS, which have combined assets of more than $2 billion.

Mark Venezia will retire from Eaton Vance on Dec. 6. Consequently, he will step down as portfolio manager of the funds he managed, including Eaton Vance Global Macro Absolute Return EAGMX. Michael Cirami, Eric Stein, John Baur, and Kathleen Gaffney will split responsibilities for Venezia's funds.

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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