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Management Shakeup at Columbia Acorn Funds

We've put the Acorn funds under review.

The Columbia Acorn funds are Under Review following organizational changes announced April 30, 2015.

Though experienced people remain, Mohn's unexpected departure further thins the leadership ranks at the firm that saw its prior president and CIO, Chuck McQuaid, step down from both roles and give up some other responsibilities at the firm in 2014. Several analysts also exited during 2013 and another experienced analyst departed in February 2015.

Mohn has been with Columbia Wanger for more than 20 years and has comanaged Columbia Acorn since 2003, serving as the lead manager after McQuaid stepped down. Columbia Acorn has returned 9.5% annually during Mohn's tenure through April 30, 2015, compared with its benchmark's 9.6% return. However, a recent slump spurred about 40% of assets to be withdrawn during the last 12 months.

Zach Egan will continue as the firm's president and expand his international CIO responsibilities as global CIO of the firm. Columbia Wanger also announced that Egan and Fritz Kaegi will join David Frank as portfolio managers on mid-cap growth fund Columbia Acorn, effective May 1, 2015. Egan will continue as a lead manager of

The personnel changes come amid other developments. A new chief operating officer, Alan Berkshire, joined the firm this week, and seasoned team member Harold Lichtenstein filled a new risk and performance manager position last September. The firm's international and domestic research teams also have begun to operate as one group.

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About the Authors

Gretchen Rupp


Gretchen Rupp is a manager research analyst for Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. She covers multiasset strategies, focusing on allocation funds and 529 college-savings plans.

Before joining Morningstar in 2014, Rupp was a defined-benefit pension plan consultant for Towers Watson (formerly Towers Perrin). She also has experience in strategy consulting and investment banking.

Rupp holds a bachelor’s degree in math and statistics from Miami University and a master’s degree in business administration from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

William Samuel Rocco

Senior Analyst, Equity Strategies, Manager Research
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Bill Rocco is a senior manager research analyst, equity strategies, for Morningstar Research Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc. He specializes in international-stock and emerging-markets funds and is the lead analyst covering asset managers Harding Loevner, Matthews and Seafarer. Rocco is a member of the Morningstar Analyst Ratings Committee for international-equity funds. He joined Morningstar in 1994 as a mutual fund analyst.

Rocco holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Duke University and a master's degree in comparative politics from Georgetown University.

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