Key T. Rowe Price official is retiring

Riepe is leaving as vice chairman at the end of the year


T. Rowe Price Group Vice Chairman James S. Riepe, a 24-year veteran of the Baltimore firm who helped oversee an expansion of its mutual funds and who often acted as its public face, announced yesterday that he plans to retire at the end of this year.

Riepe, 62, said that he would "remain active in business," though he didn't give details. He also serves on the board of the Nasdaq stock market and as chairman of the University of Pennsylvania's board of trustees.

"I believe it is time to pass the baton," he said of his retirement.

The firm named Edward C. Bernard, 49, to take over Riepe's management responsibilities. Bernard has worked directly with Riepe since joining the firm in 1988. He handles corporate marketing as well as the distribution of funds for individual investors and financial intermediaries.

During Riepe's tenure, the assets the firm manages have grown from $13 billion to an all-time high of $245 billion at the end of June.

Riepe worked to increase distribution of the firm's mutual funds overseas. He also serves as chairman of the mutual fund boards, where his terms will end next April.

"Jim Riepe is a true giant of the mutual fund industry, both for his accomplishments at T. Rowe Price and for his long and distinguished service to the industry," said Paul Schott Stevens, president of the Investment Company Institute, an industry trade group where Riepe served two terms as chairman.

T. Rowe Chairman George A. Roche said Riepe's departure is part of a long-planned transition. Roche said the firm's management committee has been "expanded and strengthened" and is now composed of seven senior managers. He called them the "next generation of leadership."

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