Integrity Mutual Funds
is picking up the equity fund assets of Willamette Funds
of Portland, Oregon. The North Dakota-based fund complex will grow its asset base by roughly 20 percent through the deal. All told, the deal will transfer control of $60 million in fund assets, bringing Integrity's total asset base to $360 million.
The deal, which remains subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is part of an ongoing effort at Integrity to diversify into the equity management side of the fund business. Historically, the firm has been focused on fixed income funds. The pickup of the Willamette Funds marks the second deal through which it has diversified its product lineup. Earlier this year it purchased two funds from Canandaigua National Bank.
"We are pleased to be significantly expanding the scope of our investment products in the equity arena," said Robert Walstad, chairman and CEO of Integrity in a statement. "Our firm has primarily been a fixed income organization since we started 15 years ago with the launching of tax exempt bond funds for North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana."
The four funds covered by the deal will be merged into new offerings being created in the Integrity family of funds. The new funds will be named Integrity Value Fund, Integrity Small Cap Growth Fund, Integrity Health Sciences Fund and Integrity Technology Fund.
To manage the new funds, Integrity has hired F. Martin Koenig. He was the founder of Koenig Advisors from 1989 until 2002 and has served in senior investment management positions at AIG Global Investors and Chase Manhattan Bank.
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