Not all bank-run mutual funds are doing badly. Look at Pittsburgh's PNC Bank Corp.
The bank's Small Cap Growth Equity Portfolio, with a return of 8.07% for the fourth quarter, was rated one of the 10 best-performing funds by both Morningstar and Lipper Analytical Services.
Furthermore, the portfolio grew from $21.6 million of assets under management to $104.5 million last year. The fund invested primarily in health care and computer networking companies.
William Wykle, who helped launch the portfolio in 1993 and has managed it ever since, said in a statement that he looks at three aspects of a company before he invests - earnings momentum, sales growth, and the price of the stock in comparison to other small growth companies.
Mr. Wykle invests in companies that have grown at a rate of at least 20%. Among those represented in the portfolio are Medaphis, Orthodontic Centers of America, Gulf South Medical Supplies, and Dura Pharmaceuticals.