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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Phoenix Reworks its Global Utilities Fund

by: Erin Kello

Phoenix Investment Partners is renaming and re-jiggering its Phoenix Global Utilities Fund to take advantage of countries' infrastructure investments. Company officials said the fund will be re-christened the Phoenix Global Infrastructure Fund to reflect a broader investment strategy, which will have the fund now invest 80 percent of its assets in the equity securities of infrastructure companies. The changes will take effect on August 18.

Phoenix is currently in the process of being spun off by parent, The Phoenix Companies, Inc. The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year. The new company will be run by Phoenix Investment Partners' current president, George Aylward.
Company Press Release

HARTFORD, Conn., Jun 16, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Phoenix Investment Partners, a diversified asset management firm with $34.5 billion under management, and the asset management subsidiary of The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX), today announced that its Phoenix Global Utilities Fund (PGUAX) will be renamed the Phoenix Global Infrastructure Fund, reflecting a broader investment strategy.

Under the expanded strategy, the fund will invest at least 80 percent of its assets in the equity securities of infrastructure companies, located in three or more countries, one of which will be the U.S. Infrastructure companies provide energy, utility, transportation, communication, and other essential services. The name change and new investment strategy will become effective August 18, 2008.

"We are energized about the opportunity to expand the scope of a highly successful fund," said portfolio co-manager Randle Smith of Duff & Phelps Investment Management Company, the fund's sub-advisor. "Duff & Phelps has a long and prestigious history of investing in the telecommunications, utilities and energy industries, all of which are major components of countries' infrastructure needs and at the core of the fund's strategy. The addition of infrastructure companies in the transportation and social services industries represents a natural progression for the fund and an opportunity to provide attractive benefits to the fund's shareholders."

Connie Luecke, portfolio co-manager, noted that institutional investors have widely recognized infrastructure as an investable asset class. Broadening the fund's mandate allows financial advisors and their clients to also benefit by incorporating this asset class into portfolio construction.

"Moving from a utilities sector fund to one invested in a growing infrastructure asset class strengthens the fund's risk/return characteristics," Luecke said. "Infrastructure assets provide excellent portfolio diversification, have attractive fundamental characteristics, and are experiencing a trend of privatization of assets that historically have been government-owned."

"The opportunity to broaden the Global Infrastructure Fund's strategy gives the Duff & Phelps investment management team much wider latitude to pursue sources of alpha wherever they exist," said Stephen D. Gresham, senior vice president, product management and marketing at Phoenix. "Financial advisors and their clients will have the benefit of adding this investment into their portfolios as an asset class fund with alternative investment characteristics."

Phoenix Investment Partners offers a diversified mix of investments from 16 respected money managers, with a specialized expertise in alternative investments in addition to core investment strategies. This emphasis on quality and choice gives individuals, businesses and institutions access to products that fit their financial goals. It had $34.5 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2008.

Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. was founded in 1932 as an investment research firm. The firm has more than 28 years of experience managing investment portfolios, including open- and closed-end funds investing in utilities and REITs that have been recognized for their risk-adjusted performance, and institutional separate accounts. Product offerings include utilities, REITs, and institutional tax efficient products. Headquartered in Chicago, Duff & Phelps has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Phoenix Investment Partners since 1995. For more information, visit www.dpimc.com.

With roots dating to 1851, The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX) helps individuals and institutions solve their often highly complex personal financial and business planning needs through its broad array of life insurance, annuities and investments. The company's products and services reflect deep insights into the wants and needs of consumers and financial professionals gleaned from research, including its Phoenix Wealth Survey, conducted annually since 2000. In 2007, Phoenix had annual revenues of $2.6 billion and total assets of $30.2 billion. For more information, visit www.phoenixwm.com.

Phoenix has announced its intention to spin off Phoenix Investment Partners to Phoenix's shareholders. The spin-off is expected to occur in the third quarter.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. Read the prospectus carefully before you invest. Call 1-800-243-4361 or visit www.phoenixfunds.com for a prospectus, which contains this and other information about the fund.

Concentrating investments in one sector presents the risk that adverse economic, political or regulatory developments could affect the fund more than would be the case if it were more broadly diversified. Investments outside the U.S. involve special risks such as currency fluctuations, political instability and differing securities regulation. There is no guarantee that the fund will achieve its investment objective.

Distributed by Phoenix Equity Planning Corporation, Hartford, CT.  

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