May 10, 2005

Separate Account Manager of the Year Winner Steps Down

ICM's small- to mid-cap guru quits firm

ICM Asset Management, which won inaugural separate account manager of the year honors from Investment Advisor, Standard & Poor's, and Prima Capital in March for its small- to mid cap value product, announced that the portfolio's lead manager, Kevin Jones, has unexpectedly left the firm. Jones quit on May 5, citing personal reasons. The Spokane, Washington-based firm's president and chief investment officer, Jim Simmons, has assumed management of the product.

Simmons has served as the lead manager on the firm's small-cap value product and had served as manager on the small- to mid-cap product from its inception in 1997 until 1999, when Jones took over. In a research alert to clients of the SMA Evaluator service it runs with S&P, Denver-based Prima noted that the small- to mid-cap portfolio has an estimated 60% overlap with ICM's small-cap product. As a result, "we would not expect any changes to the product's investment process," Prima said. But because Jones "made the buy and sell decisions on the small- to mid-cap product," added Prima, "his absence is obviously a concern."

Prima said that "due to Simmons's experience and the overlap of the small cap and small to mid products, we would not recommend moving existing investors from the product. However, we would not currently recommend the product to new clients."

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