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Franklin Templeton

has lost one of its top health care managers, but his peers will soldier on.

Kurt von Emster, co-manager of the broker-sold


Franklin Global Health Care and

(FBDIX) - Get Franklin Biotechnology Discovery A Report

Franklin Biotechnology Discovery fund since their respective 1992 and 1997 inceptions, left the firm last Friday, according to company spokeswoman Stacey Johnston.

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Jake Nunn, who had worked with von Emster since 1997, will take the reins of the $220 million Global Health Care fund, with help from Evan McCulloch and Paul Walker. McCulloch has worked on the fund for the last six years and Walker, who holds a degree in biotechnology and cell biology from U.C. San Diego, has worked at Franklin since 1996.

McCulloch will replace von Emster at the helm of the $1.7 billion Biotechnology fund, which is currently closed to new investors.

The two funds are among the leading and lagging health care funds out there. Stocks of biotech firms -- cutting-edge drug and medical device shops -- have led the sector, helping the Biotechnology fund beat its peers. The fund's 43% annualized return over the last three years beats 98% of its peers, according to



The Global Health Care fund, on the other hand, boasts solid absolute returns but lags its peers thanks to its holdings in big-cap pharmaceutical stocks. Over the last five years the fund has averaged a 16.2% gain, but that lags 85% of its peers.

Von Emster is still listed as a co-manager of both health care funds on Franklin Templeton's Web site.