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Tuesday, December 17, 2002

OppFunds Legend Says End Has Come

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Slowly but surely, the fund industry is seeing a passing of the guard. More than fifty years since after his first day at Oppenheimer & Co., Leon Levy is hanging up his hat. The 77-year-old chairman and founder of OppenheimerFunds said yesterday that he is retiring from the fund firm he founded in 1960. The firm is now a unit of MassMutual.

Clayton K. Yeutter, 72, will take over Levy's duties as Chairman of the fund firm. Yeutter has been a part of the OppenheimerFunds board of directors since 1991.

Levy's career as a stock picker was one of the most storied on Wall Street. Earlier this year, he turned those experiences into a book The Mind of Wall Street.

He purchased his first stocks with $200 he received as part of his bar mitzvah presents. Later, he joined Oppenheimer & Co. as an investment analyst and developed an investment philosophy based on lessons learned from his father (an economist) and from observing legendary tycoons and investors such as J. Paul Getty and Sy Scheuer. He was successful enough as a stock picker and a senior executive in the asset management industry that he now ranks as the 313th richest American, with $750 million of new worth according to Forbes magazine.

Outside of OppenheimerFunds, he is a partner in Odyssey Partners. He also offers his investment expertise to the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, N.J., and other charitable institutions.  

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