Mutual fund companies that have undergone an initial public offering have enjoyed a higher profile and have been better equipped to retain key talent through stock options than before going public, said mutual fund executives and analysts.

However, not all mutual fund companies that have done IPOs have succeeded in attracting large influxes of capital, analysts said. In fact, of the three mutual fund companies that have done IPOs in 1999 - Gabelli Asset Management of Rye, N.Y., BlackRock Funds of Wilmington, Del. and Neuberger & Berman Funds of New York - only BlackRock was trading above its IPO level as of Feb. 2, said Brad Moore, an equity analyst with Putnam, Lovell, deGuardiola & Thornton, an investment banking firm concentrating on the financial services industry, in San Francisco. A week later, none of them were trading above their IPO level.

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