Magazine article American Banker

Wells: Wachovia Deal Will Not Affect Wealth Rollouts

Magazine article American Banker

Wells: Wachovia Deal Will Not Affect Wealth Rollouts

Article excerpt

Byline: Ken Mccarthy

Wells Fargo & Co.'s deal to acquireWachovia Corp. has not stopped Wells from launching new investment products, including a new socially responsible fund.

Andrew Owen, an executive vice president of Wells Fargo Funds Management, said the $15 billion deal, which was announced Oct. 3 and is set to close in December, would have little impact onthe Wells Fargo Advantage Social Sustainability Fund, despite Wachovia's hefty lineup of proprietary mutual funds.Wells is fully committed to the new fund, he said.

Sean Cunniff, a research director for TowerGroup, an independent research firm owned by MasterCard Inc., said:"Wells is the acquiring firm in this deal, and they will make the decisions about how to merge the fund families. Wells Fargo believes in the product, or it would not have gone through with the launch."

Evergreen Funds of Charlotte, Wachovia's proprietary fund family, does not have a similar fund, so the Wells product probably will not be affected, Mr. Cunniff said. He said he expects Wells to merge its funds with Evergreen's over time.

Mr. Owen said the Social Sustainability Fund, which the San Francisco company launched Oct. 15, will have a two-pronged investment strategy: The fund's managers will use an inclusive screening process to ensure the fund invests in companies that are not connected to alcohol, tobacco, gambling, weapons manufacturing, and the like.

The fundinvests in stocks from 30 to 50 large-cap companies. Itis subadvised by Nelson Capital Managementof Palo Alto, Calif., a specialist in socially responsible investing.

Mr. Owen said he expects the fund to stand out because it seeks to attain the best performance first, with the socially responsible component of the process following Wells' growth at a reasonable price strategy.

Socially responsible investing is growing faster than other types of managed investments, Mr. …

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