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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eveillard Shares His PM Duties For Another Fund

News summary by MFWire's editors

Jean-Marie Eveillard has partially handed off the reins to yet another fund. Arnhold and S. Bleichroder Advisers revealed that Rachel Benepe and Abhay Deshpande now manage the $1 billion-plus First Eagle Gold Fund alongside Eveillard.

In a similar move last month, Deshpande and Matthew McLennan joined Eveillard as portfolio managers for the First Eagle U.S. Value Fund (see MFWire, 1/6/2009). And McLennan, a Goldman Sachs alum, was hired last year to manage Eveillard's First Eagle Global and First Eagle Overseas funds (see 7/9/2008).

Deshpande, a former research analyst with Oakmark International Fund advisors Harris Associates, joined Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder in 2000. He also manages First Eagle Overseas and serves as associate PM for First Eagle Global, both alongside McLennan.

Benepe, for her part, is a metals and mining analyst who once worked at Prudential Securities and Lehman Brothers.

Company Press Release

NEW YORK - First Eagle Funds and its investment adviser, Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Advisers, LLC, reported that Abhay Deshpande and Rachel Benepe will join Jean-Marie Eveillard as Portfolio Managers of First Eagle Gold Fund.

First Eagle Gold Fund, with over $1 billion in total net assets, seeks to provide investors the opportunity to participate in the investment characteristics of gold, and to a limited extent other precious metals, for a portion of their overall investment portfolio. Historically, gold has provided a hedge during periods of economic turmoil and has acted as a store of value.

According to John P. Arnhold, president of First Eagle Funds, "Abhay and Rachel have covered the metals and mining sector for a number of years. We are confident in their ability to manage the fund in a manner consistent with the tenets of First Eagle’s value investing philosophy."

Abhay Deshpande added, "Given the aggressive reactions of the world’s central banks to combat the weakening global economy gold’s value as insurance is especially important today in helping to offset the latent risks in investors’ portfolios."

The New First Eagle Gold Fund Portfolio Managers
Abhay Deshpande
Abhay Deshpande is Portfolio Manager of First Eagle Overseas and U.S. Value Funds and Associate Portfolio Manager of the First Eagle Global Fund. Mr. Deshpande joined Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Advisers in 2000 and has worked with Jean-Marie Eveillard for over nine years.

A graduate of the University of Louisville, he holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He spent three years as a research analyst with Harris Associates, advisers to the Oakmark International Fund and other international and global products, and was also an analyst for Morningstar. Mr. Deshpande was a senior member of the research group of the First Eagle Global Value Team and covered the energy, base metals, retail, media and technology industries during his tenure.

Rachel Benepe
Rachel Benepe is an analyst at First Eagle responsible for covering base metals, gold and precious metals, mining, retail, services and steel. Rachel will remain a member of the Global Value Analyst Team and will continue to cover the sectors mentioned. Rachel and Jean-Marie have worked closely on the Firm’s proprietary gold models and has in-depth knowledge of gold bullion, mining stocks, and the regulatory issues facing the commodity today.

Benepe graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Before attending business school, she worked for Prudential Securities as an Investment Banking Analyst and at Lehman Brothers as an Equity Research Associate focusing in basic industry, metals and mining. After receiving her MBA from Columbia Business School in 2003, she researched beverages for three years at both Gabelli and Company and Citigroup and was also an Investment Analyst at Artemis Advisers, focusing on consumer, retail, media and industrials.

The First Eagle family of funds, with approximately $25 billion in assets, includes First Eagle Global, Overseas, U.S. Value, Gold, Overseas Variable Funds and First Eagle Fund of America. The Funds are advised by Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Advisers, LLC and are distributed by First Eagle Funds Distributors. For more complete information about the Funds, including charges and expenses, obtain a prospectus by calling (800) 334-2143. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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