One of the nation's largest tech funds is the latest to put new hands on the wheel.
After trailing his average peer for six straight years, Chip Morris has resigned as manager of the $3.9 billion
T. Rowe Price Science & Technology fund, according to the fund firm. He also ran the firm's $60.4 million
Global Technology fund, which was launched in October 2000. Taking his place on both funds is a seven-person team led by Michael Sola, manager of the firm's $14 million
Developing Technology fund since its 2000 launch.
Morris, who had one of the tech-fund category's longest tenures, will become a partner with Integral Capital Partners, a San Francisco tech/biotech investment firm for institutions and wealthy individuals. Morris will remain with T. Rowe Price for the next month, according to a company statement.
Shareholders probably won't shed many tears. Morris' strategy of spreading his bets broadly across the mercurial sector held the fund back in go-go years like 1999 yet didn't provide much downside protection over the past two years. Consequently, the Science & Technology fund, once the nation's largest tech fund with $12.2 billion in assets in 1999, trails at least 75% of its peers over the past three, five and 10 years. Despite its less aggressive bent, poor stock selection led to a 34% loss in 2000 and a 41% fall last year. Both trailed the category average.
In his brief tenure on the Global Technology fund he lost 36% last year, narrowly edging his average peer. Sola has worked at the Baltimore fund shop since 1994. Filings indicate that he's run portfolios since 1997 but don't name any.
Morris joins a
rising tide of tech and growth fund managers who've either stepped down or been pushed from their sagging funds. After rocketing to an average 135% gain in 1999, the average tech fund lost 32% in 2000 and 38% last year.
Ian McDonald writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He invites you to send your feedback to
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