Small fund seeks deep pockets
January 18, 1999
The ASM Index 30 Fund, an eight-year-old $25 million no-load fund which mirrors the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones equity index, is looking for a well-financed adviser to help it grow.
According to public documents filed last month, the current adviser, Vector Index Advisors of Tampa, Florida, has told the fund's board of directors that it will no longer be able to subsidize the fund's expenses. Since the fund's inception, Vector has provided $1.8 million to subsidize and hold down expense ratios and it can no longer continue to do so, said Steve Adler, chairman and president of Vector, and chief portfolio manager and director of the fund. The ASM 30 Index fund is Vector's only investment management client.
Vector has hired First American Investment Banking Corp of Florida to find strategic partners willing to provide the cash necessary to continue the fund, said Adler. The goal is to boost the fund's recognition through advertising and active promotion. Adler says he is currently in discussions with potential partners and is entertaining offers. Any deal would be subject to the approval of the fund's board of directors. Adler declined to identify potential partners.
To avoid a conflict of interest, Adler has taken a leave of absence from the fund and the fund board, allowing him to concentrate on finding a partner. He expects to resume his former positions once a strategic partnership has been formed. In the meantime, other officers of the fund have agreed to run the fund under the supervision of the board of directors.
Even as Vector seeks cash to maintain its existing fund, the firm is hoping to expand its family of index mutual funds.
The ASM Index 30 is sold through the retail fund supermarkets of discount brokers Jack White and Waterhouse Securities. It is also available through some wrap fee programs. According to Morningstar, year-to-date through November 30, 1998, the fund had returned 16.9 percent. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index returned 21.57 percent.