Gabelli Asset Management
) is wandering much further afield these days, recently opening an office in West Palm Beach, for the high net worth market. Now it is acquiring the Chicago-based Mathers Fund
. Rye, New York-based Gabelli will make Mathers its Chicago base of operations and rename it the Gabelli Mathers Fund.
Henry G. Van der Eb
, chief executive of the Mathers Fund, will be president and ceo of the Gabelli Mathers Fund and will continue to manage the fund from its Chicago headquarters, which will also become the center for Gabelli Asset Management's money management activities in the greater Chicago area markets. Van der Eb has been with the fund for most of its 34 years, joining the management in 1970.
"The acquisition will essentially mean that Gabelli will take over the investment agreement for the fund," Van der Eb told the MFWire.com. "So really only the name on the door changes. Mario has a number of portfolio managers, operating independently, with their own identity, so (the acquisition) leaves us with the freedom to continue to manage as we have in the past."
The Mathers Fund's principal investment strategies include long and short positions in individual stocks, long positions in U.S. Treasury securities, and hedging with stock index futures contracts. The fund's portfolio is currently positioned to take advantage of a sustained stock market decline and has generally maintained a bearish bias since in the fund's estimation, various traditional stock market valuation benchmarks have exceeded the upper limits of their long-term historical ranges.
The Mathers Fund was ranked the #1 Fund in its category by Lipper Analytical for "The Crash" year of 1987 and was a top performer during the bear market of 1990 and during the financial crisis stock market decline in 1998.
Mario J. Gabelli
, chairman and chief executive officer of Gabelli Asset Management, said in a statement, "The addition of the Mathers Fund is a 'straw hat in January' acquisition for Gabelli Asset Management ... It adds $100 million and 5,000 new investors to the Gabelli mutual fund family and offers a significant new option for wealth protection in the event of a substantial market decline ... It also gives us access to Henry Van der Eb, a 28-year veteran of the Investment Business, whose early defining stock market experience contrasts with recent market history giving him a different perspective than most of today's portfolio managers."
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