Federated replaces Market Opportunity Fund manager |

Federated replaces Market Opportunity Fund manager

Federated Investors Inc. named Douglas Noland as manager of its Market Opportunity Fund, replacing Steven J. Lehman. Lehman is no longer with the company,

Pittsburgh-based Federated said Friday in an e-mailed statement. Noland, who heads Federated’s alternative-equity team, manages the Prudent Bear Fund. Lehman, known as the “house bear” by colleagues for his persistently gloomy view on stocks, held almost half of the fund’s assets in cash in 2008 after predicting market declines.

The cash helped him limit the fund’s decline to 6.7 percent in 2008, when the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lost 37 percent, including dividends. The $1.1 billion fund kept 29 percent of assets in cash as of Oct. 31, according to the company. Federated Market Opportunity has trailed rivals in the stock rebound since March 2009.

The fund dropped an average of 0.9 percent over the past five years, including reinvested dividends, lagging 95 percent of similarly managed funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It has lost 0.8 percent this year, trailing 98 percent of peers.

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