Fund Openings, Closings, Manager Moves: Guinness Wireless Fund Adds Two Managers

Also: A quiet manager shuffle at Putnam.
Publish date:

Adrian Brass and Seth Kirkham will co-manage

Investec Guinness Flight Wireless World

with Nigel Dutson, who has run the fund since its Feb. 28

launch, the company announced Monday.

Brass and Kirkham are former analysts with

Schroder Investment Management

, focusing on technology and telecommunications. Like Dutson, the pair is based in London.

Since the fund focuses on stocks with tech and telecom labels, it has probably been hit fairly hard by the recent, continuing and vigorous selloff. The fund's performance since inception isn't available through Thursday on the company's Web site. Through March 31 the fund was down 4%.

On March 31, about a quarter of the fund's $32 million in assets was invested in its top five holdings:

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report



(NOK) - Get Report






(ORCL) - Get Report




On average, each of the top five holdings are down some 17% since the fund's launch. The fund's main competitor, Value Trend's


, is down 15% since its April 3 inception.

Quiet Manager Shuffle at Putnam

In the wake of portfolio manager Ed Bousa's departure last week,


has quietly shuffled his three struggling funds' management teams without any formal announcement.

Since the firm's broker-sold funds are team managed, the firm saves news of individual departures for shareholder reports, says a Putnam official. But since Bousa was the most senior team-member on


Putnam Balanced Retirement,

(PGEOX) - Get Report

George Putnam Fund of Boston and

(PEYAX) - Get Report

Putnam Equity Income, it's hard to believe Bousa wasn't at least somewhat in charge.

He joined these funds in 1992 and 1993, while nearly all of his former colleagues didn't sign on until 1998.

Each of the stodgy funds is trailing is peers over nearly every time period, according to


. Their value-oriented approach and hefty overweightings in sleepy sectors like financials and utilities have held them back.

Then again, since Bousa's replacements probably won't change the funds' strategies much, maybe there's no reason to announce the change after all.

The new faces won't make Bousa's old funds' collective stodginess melt away. Among them are Dave King, who runs


Putnam New Value and co-manages


Putnam Fund for Growth and Income, and Jeanne Mockarad, who has co-managed


Putnam Utilities Growth and Income since 1988.

Both managers, like Bousa, have stuck to their value guns and trailed their peers.