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Team Member's Departure Won't Dim These 2 Healthcare Funds

Bronze-rated Hartford Healthcare and Gold-rated Vanguard Health Care are still compelling after Kirk Mayer's departure.

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Wiley Green: Following the announcement of Kirk Mayer's upcoming retirement, we maintain confidence in Bronze-rated Hartford Healthcare and Gold-rated Vanguard Health Care. Mayer, a member of Wellington Management's healthcare team, served as an analyst on Vanguard Health Care and a portfolio manager on Hartford Healthcare. He is set to retire on June 30, 2017, and the current team will absorb his responsibilities.

Mayer was a manager on Hartford Healthcare for 17 years. The fund is set up so that each of the four named portfolio managers runs a sleeve of the portfolio, focusing on their area of therapeutic expertise. The fund is a smaller-cap holding for more adventurous investors, and the aggressive profile has outperformed larger-cap Vanguard Healthcare despite higher fees over the long run.

Mayer also added significant value as an analyst on the Vanguard Health Care fund, which is managed by Jean Hynes. That fund is a large cap, low cost option in the category that has provided high return but with a lower level of risk than many peers.

Despite Mayer's value, shareholders shouldn't worry. In 2013, Wellington added three analysts with significant industry experience, strengthening an already deep bench. Plus, the firm has a successful record of navigating personnel turnover in the past. While both of these medalist funds will miss the presence of Kirk Mayer after his retirement, we're confident that Hartford Healthcare and Vanguard Health Care will continue to be compelling options for healthcare investors.

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