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Oye Vey Maria!


When Gregg Watkins and the other executives at Schwartz Investment Counsel decided to launch a religious niche fund targeting Catholic investors, they wanted the fund's name to set it apart from other funds in the cateogry. So it lit on the Ave Maria Catholic Values Fund because the name was different and would pique the interest of the media and maybe some investors, Watkins says.

Sure enough, shortly after launching the fund, Watkins, who serves as the fund's portfolio manager, was invited to appear in an interview with CNBC's, Maria Bartiromo. The appearance would be a great opportunity for Watkins and the fund to get some much needed publicity. Or so Watkins thought.

The marketing opportunity Watkins was hoping for was destroyed when Bartiromo introduced him as the manager of the Oye Vey Maria Catholic Values Fund.

The anecdote provides some comic relief to an otherwise serious situation. Watkins and Schwartz are in an uphill marketing battle because of limited resources to advertise on TV or even in print publications.

That situation has forced Watkins to take on a double role of asset manager and marketing manager. Watkins said he spends about 25% of his time on the road marketing his fund to wholesalers and distributors as well as talking with the media.