T Rowe Price smaller companies exit ‘disappointing but not critical’

Ryan Burgess leaves $1.6bn strategy as track record approaches three years

The departure of one of T Rowe Price’s star smaller companies managers has been described as disappointing but not critical to the future of the fund.

The asset manager confirmed on Friday that US Smaller Companies manager Ryan Burgess (pictured) is set to depart the fund group on 31 March to “pursue interests outside the firm”. Portfolio Adviser understands that Burgess will not be joining a rival manager.

Burgess has run the T Rowe Price US Smaller Companies fund since taking over for Frank Alfonso at the start of 2016. He manages a $1.6bn Sicav version of the fund and a £4.3m Oeic.

He has been at the asset manager for over 10 years, working first as an analyst covering the chemical and utility industries in 2007.

Burgess’ fund has maintained an impressive lead over peers in the FO Equity Small Cap USA sector, landing in the first quartile of funds over over one, three and five years, according to Trustnet.

T. Rowe Price US Smaller Companies6.0%70.5%89.6%
FO Equity Small Cap USA-0.3%59.3%62.8%
Source: Trustnet

It has returned 392.76% in sterling terms since it was launched in June 2001. The FO Equity Small Cap USA average total return is 245.05% over the same period.

Burgess ‘not critical’

Darius McDermott said that Burgess’ departure is “disappointing” but added “it is not critical” to the fund.

“T Rowe Price’s process totally begins with global and sector analysts. They feed into all the funds and this will continue,” he said.

McDermott pointed to the consistent outperformance of the T Rowe Price US Smaller Companies fund over the last 18 years as it changed hands between four different lead managers as “evidence of their successful process”.


T Rowe Price confirmed Curt Organt will take over as lead manager on the fund when Burgess departs.

The fund group said Organt is well positioned to assume the role, adding that he has contributed to the firm’s small and mid-cap strategies for over 20 years and is “a talented and respected investor”.

Organt has been an associate portfolio manager on the strategy since 2016.

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