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Stephen Yacktman Succeeds Father as Yacktman's Sole CIO

Artisan to close Artisan Small Cap to new investors, Putnam fixed-income manager Daniel Choquette departs, and Praxis adds comanagers to its allocation and index funds. Also, Mario Gabelli makes a very large gift to his alma mater.

Morningstar Fund Analysts, 08/01/2013

On July 25, Don Yacktman announced that his son, Stephen Yacktman, had taken over as sole chief investment officer of Yacktman Asset Management, the subadvisor to Gold-rated Yacktman YACKX and Silver-rated Yacktman Focused YAFFX. Don and Stephen had shared the CIO title during the past seven years. The transition was an expected part of the firm's succession plan. The move, Don Yacktman wrote, reflects Stephen's contributions to the firm during the past 20 years.

Don has stressed that he is not stepping back from his work at the firm. He will continue to contribute ideas as a member of the portfolio team.

Prior to founding the Yacktman firm in 1992, Don managed Selected American Shares SLADX for nearly a decade, during which time he was named Fund Manager of the Year by Morningstar in 1991.

Artisan Small Cap Closing to New Investors
Silver-rated Artisan Small Cap ARTSX will close to most new investors on Aug. 2, 2013. The $1.2 billion fund had more than $220 million in net inflows in the six months from October 2012 through March 2013, according to Morningstar data. Factoring in assets in separate accounts, this small-cap strategy soaked up roughly $1.9 billion in assets as of June 2013.

The fund's soft close is a shareholder-friendly move that should allow its managers to maintain the flexibility to make significant investments in their best ideas. This will be the sixth of 13 Artisan funds to close to new investors. It is also the first Artisan fund to close to new investors since the fund's advisor, Artisan Partners Asset Management, went public earlier this year. It is another positive sign that the fund's parent company is continuing to emphasize shareholders' interests over asset growth.

Putnam Fixed-Income Manager Leaves Firm
On July 29, Daniel Choquette stepped down as a comanager of Putnam US Government Income PGSIX, Putnam American Government Income PAGVX, and Putnam Income PINCX, and also has left the firm. Choquette had comanaged the first two charges since 2005, and had been a named manager at Putnam Income since 2011.

Michael Salm, who co-heads Putnam's fixed-income group, will continue to serve as lead manager of Putnam US Government Income and Putnam American Government Income. Both funds follow a strategy that's heavy on government-backed mortgage securities, fitting Salm's expertise as head of the firm's mortgage team.

Salm will also continue to contribute ideas to Putnam Income, alongside Brett Kozlowski and new comanager addition Michael Murphy, who came aboard on July 29. One of the fund's other comanagers, Kevin F. Murphy, was also removed as a comanager on July 29.

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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