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Columbia Management launches emerging market and European funds


Columbia Management has launched two international equity funds – Columbia Acorn Emerging Markets Fund (CAGAX) and Columbia Acorn European Fund (CAEAX). The open-end mutual funds invest in companies with market caps under USD5 billion. They are managed by Columbia Wanger Asset Management, which also manages Columbia Acorn International Fund (LAIAX) and Columbia Acorn International Select Fund (LAFAX).

Columbia Acorn Emerging Markets Fund invests at least 80% of its assets in companies located in or primarily exporting to China, Brazil, India, and other emerging or frontier markets. Lead managers for the fund are Fritz Kaegi and Stephen Kusmierczak, and co-managers are Zach Egan and Louis Mendes.

“While most emerging markets funds invest in large cap stocks that are dependent on world macroeconomics, Columbia Acorn Emerging Markets Fund is focused on smaller, more innovative companies, often serving local consumers,” says Chuck McQuaid, chief investment officer at Columbia Wanger Asset Management. “We look for niche businesses that are more nimble and possess solid, long-term growth prospects.”

Columbia Acorn European Fund invests at least 70% of its assets in Western European countries. Up to 30% of assets may be invested in emerging Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic, including up to 10% in companies in Russia and the Ukraine. Lead manager for the Fund is Andreas Waldburg-Wolfegg and co-manager is Stephen Kusmierczak.

“Many smaller European companies enjoy dominant global positions in highly profitable niche markets. This fund will seek out these and other exciting opportunities,” says Zach Egan (pictured), also director of international research for Columbia Wanger.

“Our international team of nine portfolio managers and analysts has extensive experience,” adds McQuaid. “The team performs rigorous research to uncover new investment ideas through a research-driven and fundamentally-focused stock selection process.”

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