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Wednesday, June 12, 2002

New Project for Falcone

by: Tony Pennino

Nola Maddox Falcone has take a position with Florida-based First National Bank and Trust Company of the Treasure Coast, the executive told the MutualFundWire.com. There, she will head up a new unit for that firm, Seacoast Asset Management. Previously, Falcone has served as the co-ceo of Evergreen Asset Management and the investment manager of the Evergreen Funds.

Seacoast will be providing investment management services to institutions (i.e. pensions and charitable foundations) as well as high-net-worth individuals. The firm's focus will be on small cap value and multi cap products. Falcone's current firm -- White Plains, New York-based MMF Asset Management -- will become a part of Seacoast. The executive is the principal/founder of MMF.

"On the individual side, we will be working on individual account management," Falcone reported. "We don't have a wrap program yet, but we haven't ruled that out. Right now, the accounts we are accepting have to have a minimum of $1 million."

"We will not be offering any hedge funds. I'm going to take some grief for this, but I think it's morally wrong to take 20% of people's upside. One percent on small cap investing is adequate. I'm more than happy to be in the fee business," she added.

Falcone has also not ruled out the creation of mutual funds for the firm. "I think there may be a lot of interest there, and they are not difficult to set up," the executive continued.

"We have a lot of retirees in the First National Bank footprint. We are not going to be marketing exclusively to them, but we will be offering them services. When I was at Evergreen, I created a fund strictly for that community and had some very good numbers with it," she contended.

"I'm on a mission," Falcone explained, "to say to the industry, 'Get back to reality'. It is as important to protect people on the downside as much as it is on the upside. A lot of people in the business -- even the big houses -- seem to have forgotten, hey, maybe these are people's hard earned savings. You have to be as concerned with the risk as the reward. And when growth is doing well in a boom time, you cannot ignore value. I've worked with retirees who've lost a lot of their savings. They stepped down from businesses that generated their earnings in the first place, and now they cannot recreate them. Our job is to protect them for the long-term. And that is what I am about, long-term investing. I plan to be a burr in people's sides about that."

Falcone and Seacoast will also be exploring the possibility of some socially responsible investing. "It is possible to make money in that arena. And that goes hand-in-hand with helping people. That is something I enjoy," she concluded. 

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