t's all over for Kobrick Funds. The fund firm's parent, CDC Ixis Asset Management North America, has made the decision to wind down the firm due to its failure to gather assets. Kobrick had been part of the organization since it was acquired by Nvest from Cendant two years ago. Nvest was in turn acquired by Caisse des Depots Group and renamed.
"Taking into account the business realities and resource issues facing this relatively small investment organization, we and the management of Kobrick Funds together have concluded that this is the best course of action," said Peter Voss, CDC Ixis North America’s chief executive, in a statement.
"Given the current volatility in the market for growth stocks, attracting new assets into our funds has been challenging as the fund industry becomes increasingly competitive and capital intensive," said Fred Kobrick, the firm founder. "Our small size made it even more difficult for us to compete for assets. This is an appropriate time for me to focus my efforts on other aspects of the investment business."
Kobrick manages $250 million in fund assets. The fate of its personnel has not yet been announced, but when CDC Ixis closed fixed income manager Back Bay Advisors earlier this year it transferred many of that firm's 25 employees to Loomis, Sayles & Co., the firm's largest affiliate.
CDC did announce the new investment managers for each of Kobrick's three funds. The changes need to be approved by the funds' shareholders and directors. If they are, they will become effective June 30.
Kobrick Growth Fund, with $76 million in assets will be handed off to Vaughan, Nelson, Scarborough & McCullough, a Houston-based CDC Ixis affiliate. It will be renamed the CDC Nvest Large Cap Growth Fund.
Vaughan Nelson will also comanage the $103 million Kobrick Capital Fund with RS Investment Management. San Francisco-based RS is not an affiliate of CDC Ixis.
RS Investment will also take over as manager of the $54 million Kobrick Emerging Growth Fund.
The first hint of the decision came earlier this week after CDC Ixis decided to drop Kobrick as the subadvisor on $350 million in assets for the CDC Nvest Star Advisers Fund and transferred the mandate to Merrill Lynch’s money management arm. The firm also lost portfolio manager Michael Nance to Putnam Investments last month.
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