Mutual Funds: Farewell to Cornfeld

Like a brooding King Lear, Bernard Cornfeld sat in the forbidding, gray stone, mock medieval Villa Bella Vista on the shores of Lake Geneva. The villa, which used to echo with the pop of Moët et Chandon corks and the giggles and squeals of female employees, was hushed. Every day last week, the 23 directors of Investors Overseas Services Ltd., holding company for Cornfeld's $2 billion European mutual-fund complex, sipped black coffee and mineral water well into the night as they sought a way out of the company's financial crisis. They were trying to do so without...

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