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Monday, April 01, 2002

Berger Opens Value Fund

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Berger Financial Group has leveraged a recent acquisition to roll out a new small cap value fund for investors. That investment objective is the flavor of the day in the fund industry as investors scramble to avoid technology and growth offerings.

The new Berger Small Cap Value Fund II is the second value offering to be added by the unit of Stilwell Financial in recent months. In October of 2001 it opened a large cap value fund.

Berger found itself without a small cap value offering after it closed its Berger Small Cap Value Fund. That fund has some $1.7 billion in assets according to Berger's most recent report.

The new fund will have a different manager and portfolio than its namesake. Bill Schaff will head the portfolio management team. Schaff was the founder of San Francisco-based Bay Isle, which Berger acquired in 2001.

"Investors have relayed to us that they are still interested in a small cap value offering from Berger," said Berger president and chief executive officer Jack R. Thompson. "Our acquisition of Bay Isle Financial last year allows us to add this product under the direction of a new team led by Bill Schaff."

Though the fund is now available to investors who buy shares directly through Berger, it is not yet available through third-party distribution channels. The firm expects to add the fund to the major supermarkets by the end of April.  

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