OppenheimerFunds Plans Family of Six 'Select Manager' Funds

The funds will give top-shelf pros a broad investment mandate.
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OppenheimerFunds

plans to introduce a new family of six subadvised funds in January called the Oppenheimer Select Managers Series, according to papers filed with regulators.

The funds will be much more aggressive than Oppenheimer's equity offerings and will be managed by well-known portfolio managers, most notably Spiros "Sig" Segalas of

Jennison Associates

and Ross Margolies of

Salomon Smith Barney

, says William Harding, an analyst with

Morningstar

.

Each of the six niche funds will have a broad investment mandate ranging from tracking the

S&P 500 Index to investing in companies with "new and innovative products." Prospectuses for the funds warn that these funds will be volatile and therefore are meant for long-term investors, particularly with an eye toward retirement. In fact, two of the funds, the

Mercury Advisors S&P 500 Index Fund

and the

PGAM Active Balanced Fund

, will only be sold in retirement plans.

The four other funds in the series are:

Mercury Advisors Focus Growth

,

Jennison Growth

,

Salmon Brothers Capital

and

Gartmore Millenium Growth

. Oppenheimer doesn't yet indicate each of these funds' total annual expenses. However, all Class A shares will carry a maximum sales load of up to 5.75%.

As its name implies, the Mercury Advisors S&P 500 Index Fund will emulate the performance of the Standard & Poor's 500 Composite Index, while Mercury Advisors Focus Growth will invest in a portfolio of only 20 companies that Mercury believes have strong earnings-growth potential.

Jennison Growth will invest in U.S. and foreign companies that its portfolio manager believes have a "unique market niche," according to its prospectus. Gartmore Millenium Growth will invest in multinational "growth companies that are creating fundamental change in the economy," according to the prospectus.

Salomon Brothers Capital has a fairly broad investment mandate in that it will invest in small-, mid- and large-cap equities, as well as fixed-income. This fund will have a slight technology bent in that it will look for companies with "growth potential due to technological advances," according to its prospectus.

PGAM Active Balanced has the widest mandate of all the funds. It will be able to invest between 40% and 75% of its assets in equities, and the rest in debt securities and money market instruments, according to its prospectus.

Segalis, Jennison's CIO and a founding director, has subadvised

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Harbor Capital Appreciation, a large growth fund with $9.09 billion of assets under management, since 1990. Harbor Capital has posted an impressive 10-year annualized average return of 24.9% but is off 11.2% for this year through Nov. 14.

Margolies has co-managed the

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Salomon Brothers Capital A fund since 1996. This mid-cap value fund, with $95 million in assets, has returned 21.59% this year. Its three-year annualized return is 23.52%.