Although a 2012 soft close curbed inflows meaningfully, Sequoia's parent has decided to take a step further, allowing only existing shareholders to buy additional shares or open new accounts directly.
The crack in the door at Sequoia SEQUX has shut. Effective immediately, the fund has closed entirely to new investors. Recall that the fund instituted a soft close in January 2012, which limited new shareholders to those who opened accounts directly through the firm's transfer agent rather than through brokerage platforms. Going forward, only existing shareholders will be allowed to open new accounts directly. As before, existing shareholders may still purchase additional shares. The soft close in 2012 did curb inflows substantially, as the fund has collected an estimated $130 million in the 21 months through October 2013. In the 12 months prior to the 2012 close, the fund had collected about $1 billion. This move brings the fund in line with parent firm Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb's separate accounts, which stopped accepting new shareholders earlier in the year.
Managers Bob Goldfarb and David Poppe said that their goal is to limit asset growth so the fund can continue to take meaningful positions in mid-cap stocks. While the portfolio includes mostly large-cap names, 30% of the portfolio is in small- and mid-cap companies. Plus, nearly four years into a robust bull market, the duo is having a difficult time finding new buying opportunities. The fund's cash stake is nearly 18% of assets, too, although the fund has long held a sizable cash cushion.