NEW YORK - David Alger, 57, president and chief investment officer of Fred Alger Management Inc., had enthusiasm, experience and a passion for investing.
After taking over the firm in the 1980s, Mr. Alger worked to build the company his brother, Fred, had founded. Fred Alger Management has $15 billion under management.
A few years ago, the company abandoned its offices in the canyons near Wall Street for space on the 96th floor in One World Trade Center. David Alger and 36 of Alger Management's 55 World Trade Center employees were missing following the terrorist attack last week that destroyed both 110-story towers.
By all accounts, Mr. Alger was an accomplished and innovative money manager. In 2000, SmartMoney Magazine named Mr. Alger "Manager of the Decade." The magazine said Mr. Alger's brilliance stemmed from his ability to find and foster talent by giving staff members lots of responsibility early in their careers. Under David Alger, Fred Alger Management earned a reputation as a place where big money management firms could go to recruit top talent.
Russel Kinnel, director of funds analysis for mutual fund tracker Morningstar Inc., Chicago, said Janus Funds found a number of key people there, including Thomas Marsico, Helen Young Hayes and Jim Goff.
"He certainly had a good eye for talent and was able to teach his style of investing very well," Mr. Kinnel said.
Mr. Alger had an eye for growth stocks, but also insisted on fundamental research. Consequently, he wasn't as quick to jump on the Internet bandwagon. When other asset management companies were hurt when the tech bubble burst, Fred Alger Management's losses were mild by comparison, Mr. Kinnel said.
Mr. Alger held regular Tuesday night meetings, called "ballbuster" sessions, in which he would challenge analysts on their hold or sell positions.
Mr. Alger earned his bachelor's degree from Harvard University and his master's of business administration from the University of Michigan in 1968, according to published reports. He joined Fred Alger Management in 1971.