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Gary Brinson walks away

After more than 30 years in the money management business, Gary Brinson is calling it quits.

Last month the UBS Asset Management chairman retired, with plans to develop a family charitable foundation and more carefully manage his own fortune. "I need to turn my attention to my own affairs," says Brinson, 58. He sold his firm, Brinson Partners, in 1995 to Swiss Bank Corp., which merged with UBS in 1998. Brinson's cautious value style hurt his equity performance in recent years, and UBS reorganized its asset management arm last March, prompting speculation that the firm was planning to revamp its investment policies. When it comes to investing his own assets, Brinson isn't planning anything too exotic; he says his foundation will focus on education, health and science. The Chicago resident remains fairly bullish about the prospects for the money management business, with the exception of mutual funds, where he predicts some fee compression in the near future. "I frankly continue to be astounded at the fee levels on some pretty prosaic funds," says Brinson. "Of course, I would have said that five years ago, also." Not that the money manager will be spending too much time worrying about it. "I'm at a point where I want to spend time with my family and my own agenda. I'd like to do it while I'm still mobile," he says.