Plus, news on the Wasatch funds' reopening, new funds from Aston, and more.
Numeric Investors decided to get out of the mutual fund business. On Feb. 23, it will liquidate all of its retail mutual funds. Numeric is closing the funds because they compose only 3.5% of its business (about $450 million out of $13 billion), and three of the four funds are closed to new investors, so there's no opportunity for growth. The offerings that will be liquidated are N/I Numeric Investors Growth
This is a surprise and a real disappointment because the advisor runs some excellent quantitative funds, it has shown itself to be a shareholder-friendly shop, and many of these fund's strongest peers are closed. Also, investors should note that those that hold the funds in taxable accounts may receive significant capital gains distributions as a result of the liquidation. Possible replacements for Growth and Emerging Growth include Bridgeway Small-Cap Growth
Wasatch Funds to Reopen
Wasatch Advisors will reopen a few long closed funds Jan. 31 to both existing shareholders and Registered Investment Advisors. Three of the funds, Wasatch Small Cap Growth
Wasatch thinks it can handle a modest inflow of new money without jeopardizing its strategy. The limited reopening of these funds makes some good offerings available in an area in which many good funds have closed.
New Funds from Aston
Aston Asset Management will launch two new funds. The first, Aston/River Road Small-Mid Cap Fund, will be run by James Shircliff, Andrew Beck, and Henry Sanders, III, of subadvisor River Road Asset Management. This team's other charge was the best-performing small-cap value category fund in 2006, Aston/River Road Small Cap Value
The second offering from Aston is the Aston/Optimum Large Cap Opportunity Fund, which will be run by Andrew Goodwin III and Keith Pinsoneault, of subadvisor Optimum Investment Advisors. The pair plans to run the fund using both top-down sector rotation as well as bottom-up security selection.
Pioneer's Management Losses Mount
Longtime Pioneer Investment Management portfolio managers Chris Galizio and Steve Balter are leaving the firm to join Fidelity's Pyramis Global Advisors. The pair ran Pioneer Growth Shares
Fidelity to Merge Regional Fund into Broader Mandate
Fidelity Investments has filed regulatory documents to merge the $470 million regionally focused Fidelity Nordic Fund
Barclays to Offer High-Yield Bond ETF
Barclays Global Fund Advisors is planning to launch the iShares iBoxx $ High-Yield Corporate Bond Fund, which will be designed to track the iBoxx $ Liquid High-Yield Index, a benchmark created by the International Index Company. The fund will use a representative sampling strategy to attempt to mimic the index's results, though management will have the option to invest 20% of fund assets in certain derivatives, and may depart from index holdings by up to 10%.
Chicken Little Finally Sent to the Chopping Block
After significant drama, the board of trustees of the Chicken Little Growth Fund