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Fund Times

Management Shakeup at Columbia Acorn Funds

We've put the Acorn funds under review.

The Columbia Acorn funds are Under Review following organizational changes announced April 30, 2015.  Columbia Acorn (ACRNX) portfolio manager and domestic chief investment officer Rob Mohn will retire in 2015's fourth quarter.

Though experienced people remain, Mohn's unexpected departure further thins the leadership ranks at the firm that saw its prior president and CIO, Chuck McQuaid, step down from both roles and give up some other responsibilities at the firm in 2014. Several analysts also exited during 2013 and another experienced analyst departed in February 2015.

Mohn has been with Columbia Wanger for more than 20 years and has comanaged Columbia Acorn since 2003, serving as the lead manager after McQuaid stepped down. Columbia Acorn has returned 9.5% annually during Mohn's tenure through April 30, 2015, compared with its benchmark's 9.6% return. However, a recent slump spurred about 40% of assets to be withdrawn during the last 12 months.

Zach Egan will continue as the firm's president and expand his international CIO responsibilities as global CIO of the firm. Columbia Wanger also announced that Egan and Fritz Kaegi will join David Frank as portfolio managers on mid-cap growth fund Columbia Acorn, effective May 1, 2015. Egan will continue as a lead manager of  Columbia Acorn International (LAIAX) while stepping down from Columbia Acorn Emerging Markets . Kaegi has managed Columbia Acorn Emerging Markets since 2011. Frank has comanaged Columbia Acorn since January 2014.

 Columbia Acorn Select and  Columbia Acorn International Select (LAFAX) both got new comanagers effective May 1, with Matthew Szafranski joining Rob Chalupnik on the former and Andreas Waldburg-Wolfegg joining Chris Olson on the latter. And at  Columbia Acorn USA (AUSAX), on which Mohn also worked, comanager Bill Doyle will assume the lead role upon Mohn's retirement.

The personnel changes come amid other developments. A new chief operating officer, Alan Berkshire, joined the firm this week, and seasoned team member Harold Lichtenstein filled a new risk and performance manager position last September. The firm's international and domestic research teams also have begun to operate as one group.

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