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Friday, April 06, 2001

Bogle Grows Assets, Seeks Staff

Reported by Tamiko Toland

While the market storm has capsized some firms, others have picked up speed in the bracing gale. Bogle Investment Management has grown from just under $15 million to $51 million in assets under management between the end of March of last year and the end of January of this year, according to data from Financial Research Corporation. The change amounts to a nearly 250 percent growth spurt at a time when most firms' asset bases have been shrinking.

Why so much, and why now?

"John Bogle had been at Numeric Investors before," said Lisa LaFrance, director of client service and marketing at Bogle. "As people found us, they started to move their money over to our firm. That was largely the reason for the big growth in assets."

Officials at Numeric have been unavailable for comment. LaFrance added that, in the same period, the firm's sole fund, a small cap offering, went up by 11.5 percent, accounting for some of the growth. The Wellesley, Massachusetts-based firm has relied on word of mouth as well as some media coverage of the fund and Bogle himself. As with many small cap managers, Bogle wants to limit the size of the fund, therefore keeping marketing efforts to a minimum.

"To be honest with you, one of the things that's important to us is keeping our assets small," explained LaFrance. "We don't really want to do a big marketing campaign. In fact, we'll probably close the fund before or by the time we reach $150 million."

Since Bogle has grown during a period when many other firms have been forced to make staff cutbacks, it seems likely the firm would take the opportunity to snatch up a few fund professionals from the flood that has reentered the market. While Bogle is actively hiring, the firm has not particularly set its sites on candidates with fund experience.

"We are looking for more investment professionals, back-office staff, and administrative staffn," said LaFrance. "Those are the areas where we've actually hired or are talking to people right now." 

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