Talk about a tough act to follow.

Monument Funds

moved quickly to hire Bob Grandhi, a veteran technology investor with no U.S. retail fund management experience, to replace Alexander Cheung on its

(MFITX)

Monument Internet fund.

Cheung

left Monday to start his own asset management firm. Last year, Monument Internet posted a 273% return to lead all Internet funds.

Cheung had also managed Monument's

(MFMAX)

Medical Sciences fund, but the company has yet to name a new manager for that fund.

Grandhi joined Monument this week from

Daiwa Securities

, where he's worked since 1990 and "served as an adviser to" Daiwa's U.S. Internet fund for Japanese investors. From 1980 to 1987, he was a sell-side analyst and technology venture capital fund manager at

E.F. Hutton

.

Grandhi also will serve as chief investment officer of Bethesda, Md.-based Monument.

He inherits a fund that has backed off its blistering pace. Since Jan. 1, the fund is up just 16.2%, which trails 91% of tech funds, according to

Morningstar

. Medical Sciences, up 70% last year, has fared better. So far this year, it's up 37%, which beats 79% of health funds.

Grandhi's record on the Daiwa Internet fund wasn't immediately available.

Monument has only one other fund,

(MFTAX) - Get Report

Telecommunications, which will continue to be managed by J. Michael Gallipo. A company spokeswoman says no other member of the Monument investment team left with Cheung.

Strong to Add Third Tech Fund

Amid record flows into the sector,

Strong Funds

aims to go from zero to three tech funds in just over six months.

Strong has filed preliminary paperwork for a new

Global Technology

fund with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

. The fund could be ready for launch in June or July and comes hot on the heels of the year-end launches of the

(STEKX)

Internet and

(SNETX)

Technology 100 funds.

Given that the average tech fund posted a 135% return and more than $33 billion gushed into technology funds in 1999, it's no surprise that firms without reputations for tech investing, like Strong,

Loomis Sayles

and

Neuberger Berman

, have been rolling out tech funds recently.

There's also evidence that Milwaukee-based Strong's other stock funds are upping their tech stakes. Three Strong funds turned up on a recent

Saturday Screen sifting for funds that had raised their tech weighting the most over the past three years.

A Strong official said she couldn't comment on the new fund since it is still in registration, and she didn't immediately return a call for comment on the firm's rather sudden commitment to the technology sector.

The filing for the Global Tech fund is short on detail. Not surprisingly, the new no-load fund will invest most of its assets in domestic or foreign companies of any size that derive half their revenues, expenses or profits from technology advancements. That will probably include stocks from sectors like aerospace, biotechnology, Internet services, office equipment, telecommunications and computer hardware, among others.

The filing doesn't indicate who will manage the fund. The fund will be nondiversified, meaning up to 50% of the fund can be invested in two stocks.

The new fund's prospectus says the fund's management fee will be 1.1%, but other expenses aren't disclosed.

See Monday's

Fund Openings, Closings, Manager Moves.