It may not generate the same kind of hype as its IPO fund, but
Hambrecht & Quist
plans to roll out a
offering by July 1, following a 30-day subscription period, according to papers filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
Details on the fund are scant. The offering statement says that while the fund is looking for highflying technology issues, it will also use a valuation model to determine whether or not to buy them. Translation: It won't buy overvalued tech just for the sake of buying tech.
The fund will not restrict itself to traditional high-tech names but will branch into media, hospital supplies, medical devices and chemical products.
It will be run by Henry Lartigue, chief investment officer of
Chase Mutual Funds
Chase Manhattan Bank
purchased H&Q last year.)
If the new fund is anything like H&Q's
IPO & Emerging Company fund, investors should expect a bumpy ride. The IPO fund, which focuses on initial public offerings, has ridden the technology market up and down with dizzying results.
Its holdings of small- and mid-sized companies left it particularly vulnerable during the market selloff of the last few weeks, and it's near the bottom for performance of the mid-cap growth lot with a negative 26.7% return while the category is off by just 6.3%.
The IPO fund launched to great enthusiasm last October. It closed to new investors a little more than a month later, after assets exceeded $300 million. Because San Francisco-based H&Q are an investment bank known for its underwriting work on tech IPOs, investors believed a mutual fund sponsored by the company would have access to hot prospects and undiscovered stocks. But the
slump has hurt this offering more than most.
It's unlikely that H&Q's name will hold the same cachet for a global tech offering, especially since it will be run by a Chase manager. It's hardly a unique proposition and faces competition from more established fund families. Of course, now that H&Q has been bought by Chase, it will have access to the bank's selling power.
Veteran Tech Manager Jumps Ship
Amid gyrating tech stock prices, Abel Garcia, the tech manager with the second-longest tenure, jumped ship Monday.
Garcia, who ran
United Science & Technology since January 1984, has left the fund's adviser
Waddell & Reed
for an undisclosed money management shop. His 16 years on the fund were second only to the 17 years Marc Klee and Barry Gordon have given to running
John Hancock Technology.
Garcia also ran
Waddell & Reed Science & Technology since that fund's 1997 inception.
His style was fairly conservative. He only bet about half his assets on tech, mainly spreading the rest among health and communications stocks as of June 30, the date of the latest portfolio data available from
That approach led to less volatility but lower performance than the fund's highflying peers. Over the past 10 years, United Science & Technology posted a 28.9% annualized gain, which trailed 66% of tech funds, according to Morningstar.
Waddell & Reed chief investment officer, Hank Herrmann, is running both funds on an interim basis while the firm considers internal candidates for Garcia's old job, says Tom Butch, marketing director at the Kansas City, Kan., firm.
Both funds charge loads or sales charges and are only available through Waddell's 2,600 brokers.
Fund Openings, Closings, Manager Moves.