April 22, 2004 — Strong Capital Management Inc. said Ashok Bhatia and Thomas Sontag, who managed several of its bond funds, and John Bonnell, who ran three money-market funds, have resigned.
A spokesman for the company said the resignations were not related to the mutual fund trading scandal. Information on the future plans of the three managers was not available.
Jay Mueller, Strong’s director of fixed income, replaced Sontag on the Strong Advisor Short Duration Bond Fund/A (STSDX), the Strong Short Term Bond Fund/Adv (SSTVX), the Strong Short Term Income Fund/Inv (SSHOX), and the Strong Ultra Short Term Income Fund/Adv (SADAX). Thomas Price continues as the funds’ co-manager.
Mueller and W. Frank Koster, an institutional bond fund manager, replaced Sontag and Bhatia on the Strong Government Securities Fund/Adv (SGVDX). In addition, Koster succeeded Bhatia on the Strong Advisor Bond Fund/A (SVBDX), for which Price also continues as co-manager.
Duane McAllister and Wendy Casetta succeeded Bonnell on the Strong Money Market Fund (SMNXX), the Strong Florida Municipal Money Market Fund (SFLXX), and the Strong Tax Free Money Fund (STMXX).
Strong is among fund companies that have been hit by the trading scandal that emerged late last year. The company is currently seeking a buyer.
The portfolio manager changes, which were disclosed in regulatory filings, were effective April 21.