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Monday, December 12, 2005

MFS Shakes Up Growth Team

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

A new stock-picking chief is shaking up the portfolio management team at Boston-based MFS Investment Management. The changes to the firmís stock picking teams come a week after MFS CEO and chief investment officer Rob Manning took personal control of the fund firmís growth equity team. The moves appear to be part of an effort to improve consistency of returns in MFSí funds.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Manning is shuffling the portfolio managers on five of the 11 growth equity funds advised by MFS. The affected funds include: Massachusetts Investors Growth Stock Fund, MFS Strategic Growth Fund, MFS Growth Opportunities Fund, MFS Capital Opportunities Fund and MFS Mid Cap Growth Fund.

The changes also include how the Investors Growth Stock Fund is managed. Rather than having three portfolio managers who each run a distinct portion of the fund, the trio will join heads to decide on stocks across the fund.

"As chief investment officer, Rob Manning's goal is to improve our growth equity performance so that they deliver consistent, superior risk-adjusted performance results," spokesperson David Oliveri told the paper.

The fund firm also dropped Greg Locraft as a portfolio manager of two of the funds (MI Growth Stock MFS Growth Opportunities) and and made him co-manager on a third (Capital Opportunities).

Research analyst Maureen Pettirossi is taking the reins as co-manager at MI Groth Stock and MFS Institutional Large-Cap Growth.

Irfan Ali, portfolio manager of MI Growth Stock is joining MFS Growth Opportunities portfolio team and is dropping his duties at MFS Strategic Growth Fund.

Other portfolio management team members shifting assignments are Margaret Adams, , Eric Fischman, David Sette-Ducati, David Earnest, Kenneth Enright, Alan Langsner and Jeffrey Constantino. 

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