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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Outsiders

Reported by Erin Kello

How many fund groups can boast they have Morningstar as a sub-advisor? Exactly one, Transamerica IDEX, winner of the Lipper award for best mixed income asset family. They competed against 23 other funds to win this award.

"This is a terrific honor for us and a resounding confirmation of the values behind these six funds and the rest of our fund family," John K. Carter, TA IDEX president and CEO told MutualFundWire

TA has a total of 18 funds with $18 billion in assets. The asset allocation funds are funds of funds whose mangers are carefully selected by TA to maximize returns.

The TA asset allocation process stems from what Richard Cardall, senior vice president of mutual funds for TA Capital, calls the "three realities: investment managers matter, asset allocation matters, and most mutual funds are not style-pure".

"Our process takes into account these three realities", Cardall told MutualFundWire

There are four steps TA developed to deal with the three realities; designing portfolios with targets across multiple asset classes, styles, and countries; hiring managers who specialize in diversified investments; using holdings-based analysis to deal with the lack of style purity; andperforming continuous balancing, which directs assets into underweighted categories.

The TA IDEX family of funds includes four asset allocation portfolios with strategic allocation, fund selection and portfolio construction by Morningstar Associates, LLC, the TA IDEX asset allocation growth portfolio, TA IDEX asset allocation moderate growth portfolio, TA IDEX asset allocation moderate portfolio, and the TA IDEX asset allocation conservative portfolio.

TA also has a secret weapon for asset allocation: Gary Rolle, the chief investment officer and president who has been with the company since 1967. He is billed as an investment savant and the engine that drives asset allocation.

So what's next for TA after the big win. We'll know April 1st, when they are set to announce their addition to the platform of a major wirehouse. Stay tuned! 

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