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Rating:NYTimes Looks Back on How a Fund Industry Legend Lived Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, December 29, 2008

NYTimes Looks Back on How a Fund Industry Legend Lived

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Gerald Tsai, Jr., the legendary fund manager of the go-go boots era who died in July at the age of 71 (see The MFWire, July 11, 2008), was profiled Sunday by Joe Nocera in the New York Times magazine as part of the pub's 15th annual Lives They Lived issue.

One of the first star fund managers, Tsai was responsible for starting Fidelity's first aggressive growth fund in 1958. He left the Boston Behemoth in 1965 to strike out on his own. His goal was to raise $25 million for his Manhattan Fund, but he ended up with ten times that number. In July 1968, the fund was the sixth worst performer in the country. He sold the fund CNA Financial, which eventually sold it to Neuberger Berman in 1979.

"We had one bad year, in 1968, and I've been killed in the press ever since," Tsai later told Institutional Investor.

Tsai, in his '30s when he exited the fund business, then engineered the creation of insurance and mutual fund sales giant Primerica, one of the eventual building blocks of Citigroup. He relinquished day-to-day management of the company after Sandy Weill's Commercial Credit Group merged with Primerica. 

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