Two well-known fund managers Ralph Wanger and wife Leah Zell will leave their daily fund management positions, from which they oversee more than $7.2 billion in assets in two mutual funds. The move is slated for Sept. 30. Wanger, 68, a mutual fund veteran, will turn over his management of Liberty Wanger Management, a unit of FleetBoston Financial Corp.’s Columbia Management, and his oversight of the $6 billion Liberty Acorn fund, to co-manager Chuck McQuaid.

McQuaid will become the chief investment officer of the Liberty Acorn fund, overseeing $9 billion in assets. Zell, 53, will step down from management of the Liberty Acorn International fund and leave her position as head of the firm's international investment team. Stock pickers Zachary Egan and Louis Mendes will become co-managers of the fund. Wanger and Zell will remain advisors of the Liberty Acorn fund, which Wanger turned into one of the best-performing U.S. small-company stock funds, and has posted an average gain of 12.4 percent for each of the past 10 years.

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