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Fund Spy

AIM's Missed Opportunity

Why three AIM funds should consider calling it quits.

Three AIM funds-- AIM Opportunities I (ASCOX),  AIM Opportunities II (AMCOX), and  AIM Opportunities III (LCPAX)--will soon lose a team of managers. Charles Scavone, Brant deMuth, and Robert Leslie will all leave behind their retail fund-management responsibilities to focus on private accounts at the end of November 2004, after another former team member, Steven Brase, departed AIM Investments altogether in early 2004.

While AIM offers loads of growth funds--and thus employs plenty of growth managers--the firm's Opportunities lineup is different. The funds have the ability and propensity to short stocks and use a variety of derivative instruments, making them more like some hedge funds than any of AIM's other funds. Opps I focused on small caps, Opps II on mid-caps, and Opps III on large caps.

The Opportunities funds clearly require specialized management expertise. But now that the entire team is shifting gears, what will become of its charges? Will AIM do the right thing by its shareholders? In this case, it doesn't look promising.