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Fund Times

Fund Times: Dreyfus Replaces International Manager

Plus, new StreetTracks ETFs announced, and Davis subadvises another fund.

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Daniel LeVan and John Evers took charge of  Dreyfus Founders Passport (FPSAX) on Nov. 9, replacing Tracy Stouffer, who served as the fund's lead manager for approximately six years.

Stouffer, who posted uneven and ultimately subpar results during her tenure, followed an aggressive small-growth style and traded very rapidly. LeVan and Evers, on the other hand, will rely on a much more moderate, core discipline.

New manager LeVan has worked for The Boston Company Asset Management, LLC, an affiliate of Founders, since 2003. Before that he worked at Standish Mellon Asset Management Company, LLC, another affiliate of Founders, where he was a lead portfolio manager for global, international, and European small-cap portfolios from 1994 to 2003. Comanager Evers also has worked for BCAM since 2003 and SMAM before that.

LeVan and Evers have been on the management team of The Boston Company International Small Cap (SDISX) since 2000 and 2004, respectively, and that foreign small/mid offering has an impressive record. Meanwhile, LeVan has run Dreyfus Premier International Small-Cap (DSMAX) since it opened in early 2003 and posted strong results there thus far. And he has served as a comanager on Dreyfus International  (FOIAX) and Dreyfus Worldwide (FWWAX) since March 2003.
 
Finally, the share classes of Founders Passport that are currently open will close to new investors, retirement plans, and mutual fund advisory accounts on Dec. 30, 2005. The fund will remain open to existing shareholders and to any new investors in retirement plans that offer the fund.

New Biotech, Homebuilder, and Semiconductor from SPDR StreetTracks
In a preliminary prospectus, StreetTracks announced three new sector ETFs with the introduction of the StreetTracks SPDR Biotech, Homebuilder, and Semiconductor portfolios. The Biotech Portfolio will track the S&P Biotechnology Select Industry Index, the Homebuilder Portfolio will track the S&P Homebuilders Select Industry Index, and, finally, the Semiconductor Portfolio will track the S&P Semiconductor Select Industry Index. As we've noted before, we don't see overwhelming reasons as to why anyone would want to invest in an ETF based on an extremely concentrated index, and the timing of the homebuilder ETF seems particularly poor.

The day-to-day portfolio managers of the ETFs will include David Chin, Michael Feehily, James May, Karl Schneider, and John Tucker--all of whom help run other StreetTracks ETFs.

Davis Gets More Work
MMA Praxis Core Stock (MMPAX) is getting a new subadvisor. On Oct. 28, 2005, the Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Davis Selected Advisers, L.P. (who runs  Davis NY Venture (NYVTX) and  Davis Real Estate (RPFRX), among others) to take over MMA Praxis Core Stock Fund. The ultimate approval will be up to shareholders during a vote scheduled for Dec. 22, 2005. It appears that this is part of a slow trend by the Board to upgrade its lineup. Two years ago, it hired Gilman Gunn of Evergreen to run the MMA Praxis International (MPIAX).

Cap Gains Taxes Back to Old Levels?
With the current capital gains tax rules only in place through 2008, there's now doubt about whether the lower rates will be extended. For the full story click here.

Dieter Bardy does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.