Akre Focus Joins the Kip 25

We give a nod to the crusty manager who previously ran FBR Focus.

It’s hard to find fault with FBR Focus (symbol FBRVX). From its launch in December 1996 through October 8, the fund, which invests in small and midsize companies, returned an annualized 12.5%. That trounced the Russell 2000 Growth index (a measure of small, fast-growing companies) by ten percentage points per year, on average, and edged Standard & Poor’s MidCap 400/Citi Growth index (a similar barometer of medium-size firms) by one point per year. Moreover, despite allotting nearly two-thirds of assets to its ten biggest positions, the fund achieved those impressive returns with less volatility than the indexes.

The fund is the brainchild of Chuck Akre, whose firm ran FBR Focus from its launch until last August. At that point, Akre quit and started his own fund, Akre Focus (AKREX). The three new co-managers of FBR Focus -- David Rainey, Brian Macauley and Ira Rothberg -- all served as analysts at Akre Capital before switching allegiance to join FBR.

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Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance