March 18, 2004 -- Heartland Advisors Inc. said M. Gerald Sandel, who helps run the Heartland Group:Select Value Fund (HRSVX), is leaving the company.
Sandel, who will step down on April 30, said he plans to start a money-management firm.
Eric Miller, who has run the $89-million fund with Sandel since 1999, will continue as its co-manager. He will be joined by David Fondrie, Heartland's director of research; Hugh Denison, a former manager of the Heartland Group:Value Fund (HRTVX); and Theodore Baszler, who also oversees separate accounts for the fund company.
Denison, who helped run the Value fund from 1988 to 1996, has been providing services to shareholders as Heartland's shareholder ombudsman for the last eight years.
The Select Value fund's value-oriented investment style will not change under the new management team, said company spokesman Aaron Picard. The portfolio is ranked 4 Stars by Standard & Poor's.
The Select Value fund gained 35.7% last year, compared to 34.8% by its mid-cap value fund peers. It rose 11.8%, on average, versus 8.9% for similar funds, for the three years ended in February.