Dec. 19, 2002 — Money manager Richard Lawson, who has run Weitz Series Fund:Hickory Portfolio (WEHIX) with mixed success since its inception in 1993, will leave Weitz & Co. at the end of the year.
Weitz’s president, Wallace R. Weitz, who manges the firm’s two other stock mutual funds, will succeed Lawson on the $190-million Hickory Fund in January.
Lawson is stepping down to “manage his own portfolio and to pursue other interests,” Weitz said in a letter to shareholders posted on the fund complex’s Web site. A company spokeswoman said Lawson’s departure is not related to the Hickory Fund’s performance.
The fund beat the S&P 500 index from 1995 to 1999, but has lagged the index since, posting losses of 17.2% in 2000 and 4.7% in 2001. Weitz Hickory was down 23.4% this year through November, while its small-cap value fund peers were off 9.5%. The fund carries a 1-Star rank from Standard & Poor’s.