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Fund Openings, Closings, Manager Moves: PBHG Plans Global Tech and Telecom Fund

Also, N/I Numeric announces plans to close one fund, liquidate another.


plans to launch a global version of its


Technology & Communications fund, according to a filing with the

Securities and Exchange Commission


Though details are still sketchy, the

Global Technology & Communication

fund will be a concentrated multi-cap portfolio focusing on small companies. This is the same formula that has led to outsize returns at a number of PBHG funds.

Also lending a degree of familiarity to the fund is the choice of Michaell Ma to run it. He has been a research analyst on the existing Technology & Communications fund since last October. Despite the recent technology decline, that fund is still ahead of its peers, up 11.7% year to date, compared with a 10.3% gain for the average tech fund, according to



The new fund will invest more than a quarter of its assets in sub-sectors of the technology and communications sector, like network and cable broadcasting, biotech and semiconductors. Because it is "global," the fund promises to invest in at least three countries, including the U.S.

PBHG says it will cap annual expenses at 2% on its new fund. Still, the fund is a more expensive than the older Technology & Communications fund, which charges just 1.34%.

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Numeric Micro-Cap Fund Closes

The market has been treating the $131 million


N/I Numeric Micro-Cap fund so well that it closed to new investors Monday.

The fund went through some turmoil after chief portfolio manager John Bogle Jr. left in 1999. Current manager Shannon Vanderhooft had worked with Bogle, son of


founder John Bogle Sr. Though results faltered in the months following Bogle's departure, performance rebounded.

In 1999, the fund followed negative third-quarter returns with a turnaround. Riding a small-company rally, Micro-Cap has posted two quarters of solid numbers. Year to date, the fund is up 14.8%, well above the 8.8% average of the small-company-growth category

Like all Numeric funds, Micro-Cap uses quantitative models to make stock selections. As a result, turnover is fairly high, about 200%, compared with the 90% average for domestic equity funds, according to Morningstar.

Separately, Numeric says it plans to liquidate the $1.5 million


Larger Cap Value fund because its asset base is too small to make it anything but a money loser, says spokesman Lynn Wickwine. The fund will sell off its assets and send checks back to shareholders, pending their approval in a May proxy vote.

Its returns have been trailing its small-cap-value peers for more than a year.

See Monday's

Fund Openings, Closings, Manager Moves.