DENVER - Berger Associates Inc. acquired the $36 million Omni Investment Fund from Perkins, Wolf, McDonnell & Co., Chicago, and added it to its family of no-load mutual funds under the name of Berger Small Cap Value Fund.
Under the terms of the agreement, Perkins, Wolf, McDonnell CIO Bob Perkins will remain the fund's portfolio manager for the next five years. Berger did not pay cash for the fund, said Mr. Perkins. Rather, an ongoing compensation agreement will pay the firm 90 basis points on up to $75 million under management, 50 basis points for $75 million to $200 million and 20 basis points on more than $200 million.
Mr. Perkins said the firm sold the Omni Fund to concentrate on attracting more pension and defined contribution plan clients, Mr. Perkins said. The firm manages about $60 million in separate accounts for five institutional tax-exempt accounts and a number of individual investors.
The small-cap fund had a total return of 25.6% for the year ended Dec. 31 compared with 16.5% return for the fund's benchmark, the Russell 2000 Index. The average annualized return for five years was 18.6%, compared with 15.6% for the index.
Dolego quits FRC for Optima
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Dennis Dolego resigned from Financial Research Corp. to join Optima Consulting Group as director of consulting and research.
Mr. Dolego had been a principal with the Chicago-based mutual fund consultant and executive editor and writer of several FRC periodicals providing mutual fund company market share data and trend information.
Mr. Dolego said he left FRC because Optima offered him a chance to broaden his research focus and to concentrate more on the consulting side of the business. He said it was only coincidence that his move to Optima came at a time when FRC changed ownership.
FRC was acquired Feb. 19 by Boston Institutional Group Inc., which provides marketing support and fund distribution services to mutual fund companies.
T. Neil Bathon, who founded FRC 10 years ago, said the company will be moving to Boston April 3 and will remain independent from the parent company, providing consulting services and data to mutual funds.
Boston Institutional, which also owns Funds Distributor Inc., will pump significant capital into FRC, said Mr. Bathon, enabling the company to significantly expand its systems and mutual fund database capabilities and to double staff to 12.
Paramount Fund reopens
LOS ANGELES - First Pacific Advisors Inc. reopened indefinitely the $700 million FPA Paramount Fund. The fund has been closed to new investors since 1983 except for two brief reopenings that totaled seven months.
The fund is being reopened because its manager since 1981, Bill Sams, is beginning to invest in stocks of larger companies, allowing him to buy and sell larger blocks of stock without significantly affecting prices. The move to larger-cap stocks better facilitates more shareholders' investment in the fund.
The fund has weathered 21 years without a losing year and ranked second among all growth and income funds by Lipper Analytical Services Inc., New York, for the 10 years ended Jan. 31. For 15 years, the FPA Paramount fund ranked first among growth and income funds.
Small-cap fund action
The Vista Small Cap Equity Fund was closed to new investors after reaching its $500 million ceiling. Jill Greenwald and David Klassen will continue to co-manage the fund, which invests in companies with market caps of less than $750 million.
The fund, managed by Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, and founded Dec. 19, 1994, has had an average annual return of 42.7%, outperforming both the Lipper Small Company Growth Fund average and the Russell 2000. To fill the gap, Vista will introduce the New Growth Opportunities Fund in the first quarter using the same investment style.
Skyline Asset Management L.P., Chicago, is limiting investment in its $250 million Skyline Special Equities fund. The firm is allowing only advisers or planners with $250,000 or more of client assets to invest to continue buying shares for new clients.
State Street Research & Management Co., Boston, reopened its small-cap stock fund, with a new name and a new portfolio manager.
The Emerging Growth Fund is being managed by Michael Carmen. The fund, formerly the Small Capitalization Growth Fund, was closed to new investors in 1994. The previous portfolio manager, Charles Glovsky, left last year to start a hedge fund. Mr. Carmen rejoined State Street Research last year after four years at Montgomery Asset Management, San Francisco.
3 set up new ventures
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Three former American Century Investments portfolio managers are setting up their own hedge funds, sticking with the aggressive momentum growth style of their former mutual fund charges.
Chris Boyd and Derek Felske founded Leawood Capital Management L.L.C. in Prairie Village, Mo., for hedge fund management. Their fund now has more than $19 billion. Both were part of the management team of the Twentieth Century Ultra and Twentieth Century Growth funds. Mr. Boyd also was part of the Select Fund investment team. Mr. Felske left American Century last summer. Mr. Boyd left last month.
Jim Stark plans to establish Overland Partners, Overland Park, Kan., to run his own hedge funds. Mr. Stark was on the team managing Twentieth Century Giftrust and Twentieth Century Vista. He left last summer.
Prudential Investments, Newark, N.J., is making its institutional World Fund/International Stock series available to retail investors for the first time. The $204 million fund is managed by Peter Spano of Mercator Asset Management. The fund screens more than 5,500 foreign stocks and has more than 60% of assets allocated to Europe and 23% to countries in the Pacific Basin.
Massachusetts Financial Services, Boston, added the MFS Research Growth and Income Fund. The team-managed fund, headed by Director of Research Kevin Parke, is MFS' second fund directly managed by a team of equity analysts. The market capitalization of the stocks in the fund is more than $2 billion.
Fidelity Investments, Boston, added two Fidelity Advisor funds to the funds it distributes through financial advisers: the Advisor TechnoQuant Fund, managed by Tim Krochuk, and the Advisor Growth & Income Fund, managed by Beth Terrana. The Variable Insurance Products Fund III was added to the company's variable annuity program and is managed by Ms. Terrana.
Stein Roe Mutual Funds, Chicago, launched the no-load Stein Roe Emerging Markets Fund. Portfolio managers Bruno Bertocci and David Harris will use a value discipline.
Stein Roe also registered a series of mutual funds specifically for retirement plans that will be distributed through financial advisers and fee-based financial planners. The no-load funds carry a 12(b)1 fee.
KeyCorp Mutual Fund Advisers, Cleveland, introduced three lifestyle funds. The KeyChoice funds are funds-of-funds that invest in the company's proprietary family of Victory and KeyFund funds to match risk tolerance.
The KeyChoice Growth, Moderate Growth and Income & Growth funds are available to both defined contribution plan and retail investors.