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Rating:Evergreen Lures Star Portfolio Manager Not Rated 3.3 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Evergreen Lures Star Portfolio Manager

News summary by MFWire's editors

The question of Margie Patel's, former manager of the Pioneer Investments' High-Yield Fund, next move has finally been answered. Patel left Pioneer rather abruptly about three weeks ago with the promise of soon joining another organization. That organization will be Wachovia's Evergreen Investments, where Patel will be managing director and lead portfolio manager of Evergreen Strategic Income Fund, VA Strategic Income Fund, Evergreen Balanced Fund and VA Balanced Fund.


Evergreen Investments announced today that Margaret (Margie) Patel has been named managing director and lead portfolio manager of Evergreen Strategic Income Fund (EKSAX)(1)(2), VA Strategic Income Fund(1)(2), Evergreen Balanced Fund (EKBAX)(2), and VA Balanced Fund(2).

Based in Boston, Patel reports to both Joseph DeSantis, chief investment officer of Evergreen's Fundamental Equity group, and Bob Calhoun, chief investment officer of Evergreen affiliate, Tattersall Advisory Group. Each of these Funds, which are currently managed by a team of investment professionals across Evergreen's investment platforms, will shift from a sleeved approach to an individual portfolio management strategy under Patel, utilizing one investment philosophy and approach to security selection and asset allocation mix.

"This announcement illustrates our firm's commitment to attracting best-in-class investment talent that strongly complements the strength of our existing investment platform and depth of research resources and capabilities," said Dennis Ferro, chief executive officer of Evergreen Investments. "Following the recent additions of Andrew Cestone as head of Evergreen's Global High Yield team and Robert Junkin as lead manager for Evergreen Health Care strategies, Margie's appointment as part of the Fundamental Equity team further broadens our ability to respond to increasing demand in the marketplace for innovative, income-producing products."

The Board of Trustees of the Evergreen Funds approved an investment goal, investment strategy and name change for Evergreen Strategic Income Fund and VA Strategic Income Fund and an investment strategy change for Evergreen Balanced Fund and VA Balanced Fund.

Effective June 1, 2007, the investment strategies for Evergreen Strategic Income Fund and VA Strategic Income Fund will be broadened to provide the Funds' manager increased flexibility to invest in a wider range of income- producing securities to create a potential for increased total return. To achieve this objective, under normal circumstances, the Funds will normally invest at least 80 percent of their assets in a diversified portfolio of U.S. and non-U.S. income producing securities, which may include debt securities of any quality, dividend-paying common and preferred stocks, convertible bonds, and derivatives (such as structured notes) providing a return expected to be comparable to an investment in those securities. The Funds do not normally expect to invest more than 25 percent of their assets in common stocks. To reflect the broader investment mandate, Evergreen Strategic Income Fund will be renamed Evergreen Diversified Income Builder Fund and Evergreen VA Strategic Income Fund will be renamed Evergreen VA Diversified Income Builder Fund.

Also effective June 1, 2007, the investment strategies for Evergreen Balanced Fund and Evergreen VA Balanced Fund will be modified to allow the Funds' portfolio manager broader flexibility in seeking the potential for current income and capital growth. To achieve this objective, the manager will continue to invest in a combination of debt and equity securities, with allocations shifting based on Patel's ongoing industry assessment and outlook. The Funds' fixed income securities may include U.S. government securities, corporate bonds, convertible bonds, mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities, collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) and other income producing securities of any quality. The equity portion of the Funds may include both common and preferred stocks of U.S. companies across all market capitalizations. The Funds can invest up to 25 percent of their assets in foreign securities, to include equity and fixed income securities.

"Margie has consistently has delivered top-quartile performance during her portfolio management tenure," said Christopher Conkey, chief investment officer, Evergreen Investments. "Her proven ability to provide results will serve clients and shareholders well under the expanded investment policies of these funds."

Patel has more than 30 years of investment industry experience managing various fixed income and equity portfolios. From 1999 through March 30, 2007, she served as senior vice president and portfolio manager at Pioneer Investments, with responsibility for Pioneer High Yield Fund, Pioneer Equity Opportunity Fund, Pioneer High Yield VCT Portfolio and Pioneer U.S. High Yield Corporate Bond Fund. Prior to joining Pioneer, Patel worked for Third Avenue Funds in New York, where she started and managed a high-yield fund that was eventually acquired by Pioneer and renamed Pioneer High Yield Fund. Previous experience includes positions at Northstar Investment Management, American Capital Asset Management and Dreyfus Management Inc.

Mutual Funds: NOT FDIC INSURED | NOT BANK GUARANTEED | MAY LOSE VALUE

About Evergreen Investments

Evergreen Investments is the brand name under which Wachovia Corporation (NYSE: WB - News) conducts its investment management business. Wachovia Global Asset Management is the brand name under which Evergreen Investments conducts sales and distribution business outside of the United States. Combined, the groups serve more than four million individual and institutional investors through a broad range of investment products. Led by 300 investment professionals, Evergreen Investments strives to meet client investment objectives through disciplined, team-based asset management. Evergreen Investments manages more than $312 billion in assets (as of March 31, 2007). Please visit EvergreenInvestments.com for more information about Evergreen Investments.

AN INVESTOR SHOULD CONSIDER THE FUND'S INVESTMENT OBJECTIVES, RISKS, CHARGES AND EXPENSES CAREFULLY BEFORE INVESTING OR SENDING MONEY. THIS AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE INVESTMENT COMPANY CAN BE FOUND IN THE FUND'S PROSPECTUS. TO OBTAIN A PROSPECTUS, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR OR VISIT EVERGREENINVESTMENTS.COM. PLEASE READ THE PROSPECTUS CAREFULLY BEFORE INVESTING.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. (1) Foreign investments may contain more risk due to the inherent risks associated with changing political climates, foreign market instability and foreign currency fluctuations. Risks of international investing are magnified in emerging or developing markets. Derivatives involve additional risks including interest rate risk, credit risk, the risk of improper valuation and the risk of non- correlation to the relevant instruments they are designed to hedge or to closely track. High yield, lower-rated bonds may contain more risk due to the increased possibility of default. Leverage may disproportionately increase a fund's portfolio losses and reduce opportunities for gain when interest rates, stock prices, or currency rates are changing. (2) Asset-backed and mortgage- backed securities are generally subject to higher prepayment risks than other types of debt securities, which can limit the potential for gain in a declining interest rate environment and increase the potential for loss in a rising interest rate environment. Mortgage-backed securities may also be structured so that they are particularly sensitive to interest rates. The return of principal is not guaranteed due to fluctuation in the fund's NAV caused by changes in the price of individual bonds held by the fund and the buying and selling of bonds by the fund. Bond funds have the same inflation, interest rate and credit risks as individual bonds. Generally, the value of bond funds rise when prevailing interest rates fall, and fall when interest rates rise. U.S. government guarantees apply only to certain securities held in the fund's portfolio and not to the fund's shares.

Evergreen mutual funds are distributed by Evergreen Investment Services, Inc. 200 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116-5034

Evergreen Investments(SM) is a service mark of Evergreen Investment Management Company, LLC. Copyright 2007. Evergreen Investment Management Company, LLC  

Edited by: Erin Kello


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