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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.

Ex-Janus Head to Lead New Calamos Investments Alternatives Fund
Former Janus CEO Gary Black is slated to manage a new alternatives fund for Calamos Investments. The firm recently submitted paperwork to launch the Calamos Long/Short fund. In addition to holding long positions in stocks, the fund will sell stocks short and use derivatives in an attempt to enhance the fund's risk-adjusted returns. Black ran a long/short strategy at his previous firm, Black Capital, which Calamos acquired in August 2012.

Black currently serves as Calamos' co-chief investment officer. He will be joined by comanagers John P. Calamos, the firm's CEO and co-CIO, and Brendan Maher, who previously worked as a senior analyst at Black Capital. The fund's net expense ratio is projected to be 2.9%, according to filings.

Oakmark Equity & Income Bolsters Management Ranks
As noted in a special Fund Times edition that was published earlier this week, three comanagers have joined Silver-rated Oakmark Equity & Income OAKBX alongside longtime manager Clyde McGregor. Harris Associates' director of fixed income, Edward Wojciechowski and investment analysts Colin Hudson and Matthew Logan will run the moderate-allocation fund alongside McGregor. The manager additions set up a future succession plan. Harris Associates' press release noted McGregor is 60, while Hudson is 43, Wojciechowski is 40, and Logan is 29. The move also comes just months after the fund's longtime comanager Ed Studzinski retired from Harris Associates, leaving McGregor as the fund's sole manager.

Harris Associates made a similar management move with Gold-rated Oakmark Select OAKLX less than three months ago. The firm's director of U.S. equity research, Win Murray, and senior analyst Ton Coniaris were named comanagers supporting the fund's longtime steward Bill Nygren.

RiverPark Launching New Alternatives Fund
RiverPark has filed to launch the RiverPark Structural Alpha Fund. The fund will employ a variety of options investment strategies, including short-selling index options that the managers believe are overpriced. The fund will be comanaged by Justin Frankel and Jeremy Berman. The duo has run a similar strategy as a private partnership since September 2008, though neither Frankel nor Berman has a public track records managing mutual funds. The fund is expected to initially charge an annual expense ratio of 2.00% for retail shares and 1.75% for institutional shares.

ALPS Launching Tactical Asia-Pacific Mutual Fund
ALPS has filed paperwork to launch the GKE Asian Opportunities Fund, which will be subadvised by GaveKal Capital. The fund will be managed by GaveKal's CIO, Louis-Vincent Gave, and comanager Alfred Ho. The managers will tactically shift the fund's assets between stocks, bonds, and currencies of countries represented in the MSCI All Country Pacific Index.

The managers have operated a similar strategy overseas, running the MW GaveKal Asian Opportunities UCITS Fund since 2006. The UCITS fund's returns have been decent. The UCITS fund returned 10% annualized during the trailing five-years through April 22 versus 9.4% for the MSCI All Country Pacific Index.

3 PIMCO Actively Managed ETFs Nearing Launch
PIMCO announced on April 22 that three of its proposed actively managed exchange-traded funds that are based on popular mutual funds and that had been in registration with the SEC are now effective.

The fixed-income giant has not yet scheduled launch dates for any of the three proposed ETFs but could move forward with rolling them out at any time.

The three proposed ETFs are based on large mutual funds with long track records.  Morningstar's fund analysts rate two of the funds Gold, while the diversified income fund carries a Silver rating.

The three proposed ETFs, and the mutual funds on which they are based:

PIMCO Diversified Income Exchange-Traded FundPIMCO Diversified Income ETF  PDVAX 
PIMCO Real Return Exchange-Traded FundPIMCO Real Return A PRTNX 
PIMCO Low Duration Exchange-Traded FundPIMCO Low Duration PTLAX 

Senior fund analyst Janet Yang and fund analysts Robert Goldsborough, Flynn Murphy, and Abby Woodham 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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