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Amway Broadens its Fund Family

Overseers of Amway Corp.'s mutual fund business have been slowly changing their strategy over the past two years in an attempt to increase assets. Last year, the company's one fund, the Amway Mutual Fund, removed its sales charge and the company began selling the fund through third party distributors.

Now Amway, which is based in Ada, Mich., is creating four new funds and discarding the Amway name in favor of Activa Mutual Funds. The plan was outlined in a registration statement filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission June 17. Amway officials declined to comment on the plan.

The changes began in February 1998 when the board of directors of the Amway Mutual Fund, a value fund, moved to remove a three percent sales load from the fund and institute a 12b-1 charge (MFMN 3/9/98). Shareholders approved the changes in April of that year.

Assets have increased. As of June 31, 1998, the fund was managing $162.3 million. By the end of the year, assets increased to nearly $180 million. The fund now has $225 million under management.

Now, the board of directors is taking a step further. Not only is it changing the name of the fund, but it has planned a website ( It also plans to add a growth, an international, a bond and a money market fund by this fall. These four funds will become part of a family along with the Amway Mutual Fund. That fund, which has been sub-advised by Ark Asset Management of New York for the past five years, will be renamed the Activa Value Fund.

Several prominent brand name money managers will sub-advise the new funds.