David Wallack of T. Rowe Price Mid-Cap Value TRMCX will retire on June 1, 2022. The fund, which carried High People and Process ratings and a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold, is Under Review.
Wallack will leave behind a legacy as one of the industry’s most talented contrarian investors. He joined T. Rowe Price as a natural-resources analyst in 1990, an experience that helped shape his value philosophy, and took over this fund at year-end 2000. On his watch, the fund gained 10.7% annualized through late June 2021, eclipsing the Russell Mid Cap Value Index and landing near the top of the mid-value Morningstar Category.
An analyst at heart, Wallack has continually performed deep company-level research as a manager, looking beneath the surface to find compelling value opportunities. He’s plied an eclectic approach that has effectively differentiated the fund from the competition and passive options. Staking claims in out-of-favor companies and patiently riding out rough patches has paid off. Yet Wallack has remained focused on what could go wrong, appropriately building margins of safety into his analysis, and the fund has handled market drawdowns well during his tenure. These qualities helped Wallack win Morningstar’s Fund Manager of the Year award in 2016 .
Successor Vincent DeAugustino will have big shoes to fill. DeAugustino joined T. Rowe in 2015, after several years as a sell-side analyst. His experience covering financials may come in handy for this value-oriented strategy, though the sector comprised under 16% of assets as of March 2021--just below the benchmark. He has collaborated with analysts across sectors when trying to understand banks’ loan books and plans a thorough ramp-up in areas outside his expertise over the next 11 months, especially as he hands off his coverage duties to an incoming experienced hire in the next few months. While he contributed financials picks to T. Rowe’s analyst-run strategy, he does not have a public record running money. DeAugustino will take on this assignment at a time of change for T. Rowe’s research organization, which is set to split in two in 2022’s second quarter.