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3 Leave Third Avenue International Value

Bob Doll to take the helm of a Nuveen large-cap value fund, Gary Black to manage a new alts fund for Calamos, RiverPark drafts a new alts fund, and ALPS plans a tactical Asia-Pacific fund. Also, 3 new actively managed ETFs from PIMCO are ready for launch.

Morningstar Fund Analysts, 04/26/2013

After being named to the management team at Third Avenue International Value TAVIX in January 2013, the firm recently announced that Jakub Rehor has resigned from the firm for personal reasons. Rehor joined the firm and its international investing team in 2004 after a four-year stint at Putnam Investments and a three-year turn at Sanford Bernstein prior to that.

Within the past few weeks, two other international team analysts, John Mauro and Michael Campagna, also submitted their resignations for personal reasons. Mauro started his career in the investment industry when he joined Third Avenue in 2003, and he has been with the firm's international team since 2007. Campagna, meanwhile, ranked as the team's most junior member. He joined the firm's research team in 2007, working primarily with its real estate team until December 2011, when he joined the international team.

Those three team member departures follow the January 2012 closure of the firm's Singapore office and the team's resultant loss of both a senior and a junior analyst. That leaves the team and its primary charge, Third Avenue International Value, with the fund's lead manager Amit Wadhwaney and comanager Matthew Fine.

While that relatively rapid thinning of ranks raises questions, a few mitigating details alleviate some concerns. Most important, Wadhwaney's continued presence on the fund is reassuring. He has run the fund since its December 2001 inception, and even after the fund gradually transitioned to its team-managed roster over the past few years, Wadhwaney retained final say on its buy, sell, and even currency decisions. Comanager Fine provides important continuity as well. Fine has been with Third Avenue since 2000 and an analyst with the international team since 2003. Portfolio managers at Third Avenue also serve as analysts, and combined with the portfolio's compact holdings and low turnover (the fund has about three dozen stocks and an annual turnover of 20%) Wadhwaney and Fine should be intimately familiar with the portfolio. Meanwhile, they can still leverage the firm's other portfolio-management and analyst teams for their research.

It's possible that the team's recent level of turnover may just be a result of unfortunate timing. After all, the firm reports that all three members are leaving on a positive note. As the team's expected replacement analysts join the ranks, though, it still bears watching how personnel stability fares going forward both on the team and at the firm as a whole.

Bob Doll Will Take the Lead at Nuveen Value Offering
Value investors will soon have another chance to invest alongside Bob Doll, though it comes with a manager shakeup at Nuveen. Nuveen recently announced that Doll will take the reins of Nuveen Multi-Manager Large-Cap Value NNGAX on June 24, 2013. On that date, the fund will part ways with subadvisors Institutional Capital and Symphony Asset Management. The fund will also be renamed the Nuveen Large-Cap Value Fund. The fund has struggled in recent years, lagging roughly two thirds of peers in the trailing three- and five-year periods through April 23, 2013.

Doll joined Nuveen in November 2012. He previously served as chief equity strategist at BlackRock and spent more than a decade managing funds such as BlackRock Large Cap Core MDLRX, BlackRock Large Cap Growth MDLHX, and BlackRock Large Cap Value MDLVX. At the BlackRock offerings, Doll used a primarily quant-driven approach to rank stocks based on financial health and valuation relative to forward-looking prospects. He also incorporated fundamental research to double-check his models. Doll's large-cap BlackRock funds provided decent performance over time, though his quant-models struggled to adjust to conditions in 2009 and 2010 and performance lagged.

Doll has also been a manager of Nuveen Growth NSGAX since December 2012. In the brief time since Doll's start, the fund has outpaced the large-growth category average and the Russell 1000 Growth benchmark.

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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