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Fund Spy

Evaluating Changes at Three Prominent Fund Firms

Can you read between the lines of some fund-company maneuvers?

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Some changes have obvious implications for fund investors. A manager change, for example, is of the utmost importance, as investors have to figure out what impact it has on the fund's outlook. (My colleague Russ Kinnel recently examined nine 2012 portfolio manager changes to help answer that question.) Strategy changes are similarly important, because investors have to decide if the new strategy fits their overall portfolio allocation or if the "new" fund will match their risk tolerances and time horizons. Fund-company mergers should also raise eyebrows, as fund-company managements may have plans for rationalizing newly combined fund lineups or making other changes in the name of synergies and efficiencies.

Implications of other changes at fund families aren't as cut-and-dried, though. Should investors take note when fund complexes create new sales positions, for example? That could indicate a greater emphasis on asset growth, which would be worrisome, or just a response to investor interest or a happy opportunity to bring in skilled practitioners. Below is a look at some recent fund-company announcements and what they could mean for fund investors.

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