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RS Investments' Core Growth Team Departs

Vanguard cuts fees on 30 mutual funds, Michael Mauboussin leaves Legg Mason, and Franklin Income takes on comanagers.

Morningstar Fund Analysts, 01/04/2013

RS Investments has removed the entire management team of RS Capital Appreciation RCAPX--David Carr, Larry Coats, and Christy Phillips--and will merge the fund into RS Growth RSGRX in March 2013. The management team of RS Growth--Stephen Bishop, Melissa Chadwick-Dunn, and D. Scott Tracy--assumed the helm of RS Capital Appreciation as of Dec. 3. The fund's former advisor, Oak Value Capital Management, was purchased by RS Investments in mid-2010, and the fund changed its name from Oak Value.

RS Capital Appreciation had been chosen as one of Morningstar's Ultimate Stock Pickers when the list was relaunched in April 2009, but it is unlikely to recur in 2013, as funds are typically removed from that list when the managers responsible for the long-term track record are no longer in charge.

RS Investments dropped the team after a relatively short tenure. That said, from the time that the fund adopted the RS naming convention in September 2010 through December 2012, the fund's 13.8% annualized return trails the 15.1% and 16.5% of the large-growth category norm and the S&P 500 Index, respectively.

RS officials declined to comment on the management change.

Vanguard Cuts Fees on 30 Funds, Hikes Them on 7 Others
In late December, Vanguard made modest changes to the expense ratios for 37 Vanguard mutual funds, owing to shifts in the cost of managing the funds.

The changes, which typically are driven by factors like economies of scale (which can reduce the costs to operate a fund) or declines in assets (which can hike the costs), meant that investors will pay slightly less for 30 Vanguard funds and slightly more for seven funds.

At the same time, Vanguard announced price cuts on 24 exchange-traded funds and price increases for two of its ETFs. We previously wrote about those fee changes in the Dec 31, 2012, ETF Weekly.

Most of the fee changes were pretty minimal. The most meaningful cost reductions involved Vanguard's equity sector funds. Most of the firm's equity sector funds went from charging 0.19% to 0.14%.

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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