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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Women's Equity Fund Adds Institutional Shares, Lowers Fees

by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The Women's Equity Fund is making a distribution push. The gender-conscious mutual fund's San Francisco-based advisor, FEMMX Financial, announced Tuesday the creation of a new institutional share class and a reduction in the maximum fee for retail shares. The new institutional shares will cost a maximum of 99 bps and require a minimum investment of $250,000. Net annual fund operating expenses for retail shares dropped to 134 bps.

The release cites the moves as a "response to interest from endowments, foundations and other institutions." CEO and chief investment officer Linda C. Y. Pei explained this interest.

"The appeal of socially conscious funds is broadening, especially in our space," Pei stated, "as investors are recognizing that everyone benefits from corporate practices that provide opportunities for all qualified people to compete for and hold executive-level, policy-making positions."

According to the fund's prospectus, it invests mostly in equities, in "companies ... that are proactive toward women's social and economic equality." Boston Trust Investment Mangement subadvises the fund, with William Apfel and Heidi Soumerai serving as co-portfolio managers. US Bank serves as the fund's custodian and transfer agent, while Quasar Distributors handles the fund's distribution. The fund launched in 1993. 

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