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Federated Investors Plans Fund Family for Native Americans

Federated Investors of Pittsburgh is collaborating with Native American asset managers to create the first fund family for Native Americans. The first fund will be called 4 Winds Treasury Money Market Fund. The family's aim will be to get a large proportion of the money invested by the 500 tribes in the U.S., a figure calculated to be a total of $15 billion.

21st Century Enterprises of Alaska administers 4 Winds which will be advised by Native American Investors and distributed by NativeNations Securities of New York. Federated will provide trading and back-office services and will help design the funds. It will also be the sub-administrator under 21st Century Enterprises.

Federated has helped affinity groups put together fund families in the past, said Jeffrey W. Sterling, vice president in Federated's relationship management and business development division. It has helped in the creation of fund families for both AARP of Washington, D.C. and the Lutheran Brotherhood of Minneapolis.

The future stock and bond funds in the 4 Wind family will be run as social responsible offerings, Sterling said.

Initially, just a treasury money market fund will be offered because it is the least risky, said John Delorme, president of 21st Century Enterprises.

"We have gone with the funds that meet the Native American market place's immediate needs," he said. "Eventually we'll be moving into a bond fund and equity play and we're going to end-up with five funds to meet our target audience."

Initially, Four Winds will offer only an institutional share class. The fund has a $50,000 minimum initial investment. The tribal money originates from government appropriations, casino revenues and other sources and goes to the 500 tribes. The tribes, in turn, keep the money in money market accounts and then distribute it to their members.