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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Aster Dies

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Richard Aster, founder and president of Aster Investment Management Company [profile], died of an accident on February 16. He was 71.

Richard Aster, Jr.

Photo taken from the Aster Web site
The Larkspur, California-based firm's February 17 filing with the SEC called Aster's death "untimely" and "accidental." The filing did not provide additional details on the cause of his death.

Aster was the lead portflio manager for Aster Investment Management's three no-load mutual funds: Meridian Equity Income Fund, Meridian Growth Fund and Meridian Value Fund.

The Feb. 17 filing lists James England and James O'Connor as the co-PMs of the equity income fund and the value fund, and England and William Tao as the co-PMs of the growth Fund.

Aster, a native of Southern California, started Aster Investment Management in 1977. In 1984, the firm made its foray into the mutual fund business with the launch of the Meridian Growth Fund. The rollout of the value fund followed in 1994 and the equity income fund in 2005.

Company Announcement

February 17, 2012. Larkspur, California:
Richard F. Aster, Jr., President of Aster Investment Management Company, Inc. and portfolio manager of Meridian Fund, Inc. died yesterday. He was 71.

"We are deeply saddened by the sudden and untimely passing of our esteemed colleague and friend," said Meridian Fund Vice Chairman James Glavin.

A team of investment professionals with a combined total of over 22 years of working closely with Richard Aster at Aster Investment Management Company have assumed management responsibilities for the Funds. The current investment management team will continue to manage the Meridian Fund portfolios using the same investment philosophies, processes, discipline and standards that Aster Investment Management Company has consistently and faithfully maintained over many years.

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