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Third Avenue Value Loses a Legend but Retains Its Appeal

Marty Whitman's imprint will remain strong, though Ian Lapey will have his say.

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It's the end of an era for  Third Avenue Value (TAVFX) shareholders, though far from the end of the world.

As of March 1, 2012, Marty Whitman is stepping off the fund and handing full portfolio-management control to current comanager Ian Lapey. Whitman launched the offering in late 1990 and, until Lapey was named comanager in July 2009, was the only named manager. Over those two-plus decades, Whitman has built a compelling long-term performance record. The fund's nearly 12% annualized return since its inception is more than 200 basis points better than that of the S&P 500 Index and roughly 500 basis points better than that of the MSCI World Index. It's also one of the strongest among all mutual funds that are at least as old.

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