It's a sad day for value hounds. After a long run as one of the most well-respected large value funds, the Clipper Fund (NASDAQ:CFIMX) as we know it is sailing into the sunset. Co-managers James Gipson, Michael Sandler, and Bruce Veaco will all be leaving at year's end, and investment firm Barrow, Hanley, Mewhinney & Strauss will be taking over.

Little has been said about the "why" of this departure, and the timing -- giving only about three months' notice -- is a little odd. According to Morningstar's analyst, the managers are covered by two-year non-compete agreements, so they won't be popping up at another mutual fund right away. Perhaps they're going off to start a hedge fund, where skilled managers can make incredible amounts of money.

Or perhaps they're just going to take a very well-deserved rest. After all, Gipson and Sandler were there from the beginning in 1984, and Gipson in particular has been at this for something close to 30 years. Much as professional investing can be exciting and rewarding, it's a tough and all-consuming job. Maybe Gipson wants to smell the roses a bit.

On a personal level, I totally respect their decisions and wish them nothing but the best. As a fundholder, though, I'm a bit ticked (and believe me, there are far less family-friendly words I'd prefer to use). After all, the Clipper Fund hasn't had a great run over the past few years, and fundholders have tolerated the managers' holding quite a lot of cash for some time now. All things considered, I wish they would go out with a bang instead of a whimper.

Suffice to say I'll be selling my shares quite soon. It's not that I think BHMS will do a poor job. Quite frankly, if you look at their performance with the Motley Fool Champion Funds pick Vanguard Windsor II (NASDAQ:VWNFX), you see that they've done well recently and have a fairly fundholder-friendly expense ratio.

But on those rare occasions when I invest in mutual funds, I do so for very specific reasons. Either I'm investing in an asset class that's tough (or uneconomical) for me to duplicate, or I'm investing personally in a team, as was the case with Clipper. Since that team is leaving, so will my money.

More mutually beneficial takes:

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson owns shares of the Clipper Fund. The Fool has a disclosure policy.