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Top Manager to Leave Robertson Stephens

Ron Elijah will start his own firm and continue to run his Robbie Stephens funds.

Ron Elijah, Robertson Stephens Investment Management's top-performing fund manager, soon will leave to start his own investment firm.



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completes the sale of RSIM to the asset-management firm's top brass, senior managers G. Randall Hecht, Paul Stephens and Andrew Pilara will become principal owners, but Elijah and another well-regarded fund manager, Rick Barry, won't be part of the package.

Elijah and Barry will launch asset-management firms of their own, according San Francisco-based RSIM. If all goes according to plan, the two popular managers will continue to run their RSIM portfolios as independent subadvisers. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter.

"We anticipate it being a seamless transaction," says RSIM spokeswoman Stephanie Linkous.

In February RSIM will ask shareholders of Elijah's $156 million

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Information Age fund and $678 million


Value + Growth fund to approve subadvisory agreements with

Elijah Asset Management

, Elijah's new firm. Both funds have been run by Elijah since their inception.

Shareholders in the $126 million


Contrarian fund will be asked to approve a subadvisory agreement to have a portion of their fund run by Barry's new firm,

Eastbourne Management

. Barry is a member of the Contrarian management team, which also includes Paul Stephens and Andrew Pilara. Stephens and Pilara will continue to run a portion of Contrarian's portfolio at RSIM.

Following the sale, Hecht will own 29% of RSIM, which currently manages $4.7 billion in assets in institutional, private and mutual fund accounts. Hecht will continue as chairman and chief executive of the firm. Stephens will own 22% of RSIM and will remain chief investment officer and a member of the Contrarian management team. Portfolio managers Pilara and James Callinan will own 15% and 20%, respectively, of RSIM.