Dec. 6, 2002 — Portfolio manager Ira Unschuld, who has kept the Schroder Capital Ultra Fund/Inv (SMCFX) ahead of its competitors since its inception, is stepping down.

Unschuld will leave at the end of the month to start his own investment firm, a spokeswoman for Schroder Investment Management North America said.

He will be replaced on the Ultra fund and the Schroder Capital US Opportunities/Inv (SCUIX) by Jenny B. Jones, a former Morgan Stanley money manager who had run the Morgan Stanley Special Value/A Fund (SVFAX) from its start in 1996.

The $215-million Ultra fund was up 18.1% this year through November, while the average small-cap blend fund gained 7.3%. Schroder Ultra returned 75.8%, on average, for the five years ended in October, compared to a return of 1.4% by its peers.