Testa retiring after 3 decades with Price

Rogers, 48, will succeed chief investment officer, who turns 60 in April

December 19, 2003|By William Patalon III | William Patalon III,SUN STAFF

M. David Testa, the T. Rowe Price Inc. chief investment officer who helped the Baltimore-based mutual fund firm build its reputation for quality and consistency, will step down from his post at year's end and retire from the company in the spring, Price announced yesterday.

Testa is to be succeeded as CIO by Brian C. Rogers, 48, one of Price's most successful fund managers. Rogers has supervised the T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fund since its 1985 inception. Over the past year, the fund has returned 19.2 percent.

As CIO, Rogers will provide intellectual leadership and long-term perspective rather than oversee day-to-day investment strategy, Price said. Price Chairman and President George A. Roche is to take over management of the firm's investment divisions.

Rogers, who joined Price in 1982, will keep his portfolio-management duties and continue as a member of the firm's management committee and board. Already a member of the company's U.S. equity and global fixed income steering committees, Rogers in April will also join Price's international steering committee, the firm said.

Testa will retire from the company, and from Price's board of directors, in April, when he turns 60. The transition has been under way for some time, with Rogers having taken on an increasing level of Testa's responsibilities, Testa said yesterday.

"I feel very lucky, feel very fortunate to have been here," Testa said. "But there are some terrific people here, people who are very energized, and who will continue to do a good job. They are part of the reason I've decided to retire. It's important to get out of their way while they still feel that energy."

Testa in 1979 was a key player in creating the joint venture that became T. Rowe Price International, according to the company. He spent a decade managing Price's Growth Stock Fund and subsequently led the firm's equity division.

Testa has been the CIO since April 1997.

Testa "has had a highly successful investment career spanning more than 30 years with T. Rowe Price, and we respect his desire to bring his career to a close and explore other life interests," Roche said in a statement.

Testa, married 38 years to his wife, Adena, said he is excited by the prospect of retiring. Known for having many interests, Testa said he intends to devote much time to playing golf, working out, reading extensively, taking courses and traveling abroad.

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