Industry sources and regulatory filings indicate that portfolio manager Vijay Shankaran has departed Turner Investments. Shankaran was the lead portfolio manager on the Morningstar 4-Star rated mutual fund Turner Health Sciences Long/Short Fund. That fund is also one of multiple holdings of the Turner Spectrum Fund, a multi-manager fund that invests across six of Turner’s specialist funds. Shankaran joined Turner in May 2006 as a security analyst/portfolio manager on Turner’s growth equity investment team, and has been the portfolio manager on the Health Sciences Long/Short Fund since its inception in February 2011. He joined Turner from hedge fund Caxton Associates where he was a research analyst covering the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors.
Michael S. Tung, MD, has replaced Shankaran as portfolio manager on the fund effective March 17, 2014. Tung’s background is described in Turner’s Form ADV as follows: “Dr. Tung joined Turner in 2013 and has 10 years of investment experience. Prior to joining Turner Investments, Dr. Tung was employed by Expo Capital Management, Delaware Investments, Galleon Group and Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management. Dr. Tung graduated from George Washington University with degrees in biology and economics. He then received his MD and MBA from the Tufts University School of Medicine.”
The portfolio manager change also impacts other funds that were sub-advised by Turner where Shankaran was the named portfolio manager. According to Morningstar, this includes the Neuberger Berman Absolute Return Multi-Manager Fund, Neuberger Berman Long Short Multi-Manager Fund, GuideStone Funds Defensive Market Strategies Fund, Cornerstone Advisors Public Alternatives Fund and the SEI Multi Strategy Alternatives Fund.
Performance of the fund has been strong with Shankaran at the helm. According to Turner’s website, the institutional class of the Health Sciences Long/Short Fund returned 8.67% since inception, and 25.46% over the past year as of 2/28/14. Since inception, the fund has outperformed its long/short category peers based on data from Morningstar. The fund focuses on long/short equity investments across the biotechnology, health care services, medical technology and pharmaceuticals. As of 12/31/13, the fund had a fairly low net market exposure of 34%, with gross long investments of 71% and gross shorts of 36%. Hopefully Tung can pick up the reigns and continue on with the solid performance that Shankaran delivered.