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Fund Times

Fund Times: Oakmark Managers Reflect on 2005 and Beyond

Plus, Fidelity manager change, Gabelli changes names, and more.

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In their year-end letter to shareholders released this week, the managers of  Oakmark Global (OAKGX), Clyde McGregor and Rob Taylor, discuss some of the more interesting results for the fund in 2005 and thoughts on the future. Fundowners enjoyed a cumulative 13.2% return, which places the fund above typical world-stock funds in 2005. One of the notable wins for the fund was  Burlington Resources (BR), the fund's largest holding, which blasted up 99% for the year. It was helped late in the year by an announcement that  ConocoPhillips  (COP) would acquire it.

Looking forward to 2006, in typical value style they picked up several names recently that disappointed Wall Street's earnings, but remain solid in their view, companies such as  Brunswick (BC),  Dell (DELL),  Washington Post (WPO), and Trinity Mirror. The letter states, "In each instance [the managers] evaluated that the earnings reports were irrelevant to the companies' long-term business values." They are especially bullish on Dell, which they see as a company that's in the logistics business and assembles products with "unparalleled" healthy financial characteristics. To read the full report, click here.

First Fidelity Manager Change of 2006
Fidelity named Matthew Lentz as new manager of  Fidelity International Real Estate (FIREX). Lentz replaces Steven Buller, who will continues to run the successful  Fidelity Real Estate (FRESX). Lentz has worked at Fidelity as an analyst since 2002 (and at Goldman Sachs as a REIT research analyst before that). While Lentz has no record managing public mutual funds, we are somewhat heartened by the fact that he has worked with Buller on international real estate securities and this fund in particular for the past 16 months.

Gabelli Funds Renamed GAMCO
Gabelli Funds, LLC is rebranding the funds not run by firm founder Mario Gabelli, which will involve eight funds changing their names from Gabelli to GAMCO. The new names will mirror the advisor's parent company name,  GAMCO Investors  (GBL). The eight funds affected are:  GAMCO Growth (GGCAX),  GAMCO International Growth (GAIGX),  GAMCO Gold (GOLDX),  GAMCO Global Telecommunications (GTCAX),  GAMCO Global Growth (GICPX),  GAMCO Global Opportunity (GOCAX), GAMCO Global Convertible Securities (GAGCX), and GAMCO Mathers (MATRX).

The company says the impetus behind the change is to create a clearer distinction between funds that use the Gabelli "absolute return, Private Market Value with a Catalyst" style, and other GAMCO Investor funds. However, it's notable that  Gabelli Blue Chip Value (GBCAX) is not run in a value style similar to other Gabelli funds, and yet as of now it will not be rebranded.

SunAmerica Changes Subadvisors
The board of directors of SunAmerica Focused Mid-Cap Value (F05Z3M) ended its contract with Janus subadvisor Perkins, Wolf, McDonnell & Company LLC. Perkins declined renewing the contract, because it typically doesn't run very concentrated portfolios. In its place, the SunAmerica board hired Kinetics Asset Management, which currently advises six mutual funds, most of which are technology sector funds. Perkins still runs the successful  Janus Mid Cap Value (JMCVX), which has bested 80% of its mid-value rivals despite the challenging environment over the past five years. This may be the first time that the manager of a Morningstar Fund Analyst Pick has been replaced by the manager of a Fund Analyst Pan--in this case,   Kinetics Internet (WWWFX).

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