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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Fund Chief Prepares a Temporary Departure

News summary by MFWire's editors

Robert Rodriguez will step aside as First Pacific Advisors' CEO in January, but only for a little while. On Tuesday the Los Angeles-based firm revealed that Rodriguez will take a one-year sabbatical in 2010. J. Richard Atwood (chief operating officer and chief financial officer) and Steven Romick (now a partner) will lead the firm next year as managing partners, while partners Thomas Atteberry, Dennis Bryan and Rikard Ekstrand will handle Rodriguez's portfolio management duties.

Rodriguez stated that his "first priority" while on sabbatical will be his family, but he did not reveal the reason for the sabbatical.

First Pacific Advisors manages more than $8 billion for institutional investors and five open-ended mutual funds.

Company Press Release

Investment manager First Pacific Advisors today announced that chief executive officer Robert L. Rodriguez will take a one-year sabbatical from the firm beginning in January 2010. Longtime FPA veteran and partner Steven Romick will join J. Richard Atwood, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, as a managing partner of the firm, and current portfolio managers Thomas H. Atteberry, Dennis M. Bryan, and Rikard B. Ekstrand, all partners with FPA, will assume Mr. Rodriguez's day-to-day portfolio management responsibilities.

Beginning in 2010, Messrs. Bryan and Ekstrand, who have worked closely with Mr. Rodriguez for the past 16 and 10 years, respectively, will share the lead management role for the firm's Small/Mid-Cap Absolute Value institutional strategy, including FPA Capital Fund. Mr. Atteberry, who shared the 2008 Morningstar Fixed-Income Fund Manager of the Year honor with Mr. Rodriguez, has worked closely with Mr. Rodriguez for the past 12 years and will assume lead management of the Core-Plus Fixed Income institutional strategy, including FPA New Income. It is expected that these roles will be maintained following Mr. Rodriguez's return.

For the remainder of 2009, Mr. Rodriguez will maintain all of his current duties in managing the firm and the investment teams. He will also maintain his ownership interest in FPA and personal investments in the FPA mutual funds and other products managed by the firm during his sabbatical. Upon his return in 2011, Mr. Rodriguez will resume his role as a managing partner of the firm and portfolio manager, and continue to support the portfolio management teams for FPA Capital, FPA New Income, and institutional accounts.

"I take great pride in the team we've developed here in my 25 years with the firm, and the sacrifices we've all made to build an investment advisory firm dedicated to the service of all of our investment clients," said Mr. Rodriguez. "At FPA we have always recognized that the strength of an investment firm is its people, and we regard the professional development of our management and investment teams as one of our key responsibilities to our clients. At no other time in the firm's history have we had greater depth and experience in our leadership, and that has allowed me to consider taking a year to focus on my own personal growth. For over a decade, the investment teams have applied the core principles and strategies that perpetuated our long-term track-records. My confidence in the investment teams allows me this opportunity. My first priority during my sabbatical will be my family and friendships outside of work. Their sacrifices have provided the foundation that has enabled my commitment to the firm and our clients."

Mr. Rodriguez added: "We also believe there is no substitute for the perspective one can gain by stepping back from the discipline of security analysis to take a broad view of the global economy and investment landscape we'll be facing in the coming decades. I look forward to rejoining the team in 2011 with fresh insights on this challenging time of change in the economic history of the U.S."

About First Pacific Advisors and the FPA Funds

First Pacific Advisors, LLC, based in Los Angeles, employs a disciplined, value-oriented investment approach in managing more than $8 billion for institutional and mutual fund investors. FPA serves as investment advisor to five open-end mutual funds: FPA Capital Fund, Inc. (Nasdaq: FPPTX), FPA New Income, Inc. (Nasdaq: FPNIX), FPA Paramount Fund, Inc. (Nasdaq: FPRAX), FPA Perennial Fund, Inc. (Nasdaq: FPPFX), and FPA Crescent Fund (Nasdaq: FPACX); as well as one closed-end investment company, Source Capital, Inc. (NYSE: SOR). More information on First Pacific Advisors and the FPA Funds is available at www.fpafunds.com. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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