has launched a new sector fund, the Delaware American Services Fund. The new offering combines three more specific service sectors, business, financial and consumer, into a single investment option.
"We got a lot of questions from producers, 'Do you have sector funds?'" said Dinah Huntoon
, vice president of product managment.
The Philadelphia-based firm responded to demand from clients, but attempted to do so without straying from internal investment know-how. With some focus already in the three service sub-sectors, Delaware decided to wrap them to create an innovative product. Furthermore, blending the three service sectors provides a modicum of diversification within the realm of sector investing.
"Part of the idea did come out of the fact that this group of services would provide a good complement to each other," explained Huntoon.
John A. Heffern
and Steven T. Lampe
manage the fund. Both are members of the firm's seven-member equity growth team.
The fund came out of incubation on March 1 with A, B, C, and I share classes. A class shares had been available to Delaware employees since December 28, 1999, so the fund launches with a one-year performance track record. Delaware opted to push back the opening in order to give the sales force, newly restructured, ample opportunity to familiarize itself with the new product.
A shares carry a maximum load of 5.75 percent, with a total of 145 basis points in fees. B shares carry a declining back-end load with a maximum of five percent, with a total of 220 basis points in fees. C shares carry a back-end load of one percent, with a total of 220 basis points in fees. The firm also offers I shares for institutional use.
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