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Frank Waltman, Virtus' executive vice president, product management

Virtus Investment Partners registers five new mutual funds


Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ: VRTS) is expanding the diversity of its investment strategies by introducing five open-end mutual funds.

Registration statements have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the Virtus Herzfeld Fund, the Virtus Wealth Masters Fund, the Virtus Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund, the Virtus Emerging Markets Debt Fund, and the Virtus International Small-Cap Fund.  The funds are expected to be introduced later this year.

"Our strategy is to provide clients with a wide array of products to help them adapt to changing market cycles, and these new funds further diversify our product offerings by adding the expertise and differentiated approaches of five respected investment managers," says Frank Waltman, executive vice president, product management, at Virtus.  "These funds will offer financial advisors a range of new investment options for their clients, including strategies that are not readily available to the retail investor."

Virtus Herzfeld Fund is an open-end fund subadvised by Thomas J Herzfeld Advisors, Inc, an investment advisory firm founded in 1984 that has an expertise in closed-end fund research and investments.  The Herzfeld strategy uses quantitative, qualitative and fundamental analysis to evaluate closed-end funds, focusing on those funds whose discount to net asset value (NAV) is attractive. The manager also factors in variables including liquidity, volatility and distribution yield, then invests in those closed-end funds which they believe will benefit from a favourable shift in valuation.

Virtus Wealth Masters Fund will be subadvised by Horizon Asset Management, a subsidiary of Horizon Kinetics, LLC, an employee-owned investment boutique.  The fund seeks to track the Horizon Kinetics ISE Wealth Index (Ticker: RCH) and invest in publicly held companies that are managed by some of the wealthiest individuals in the U.S.  The fund’s strategy is based on the concept that companies managed or influenced by individuals who have created significant wealth in their companies will outperform other companies because those managers tend to prioritize creation of long-term shareholder value over the shorter-term considerations that are typical of other corporate managements.

Virtus Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund will be subadvised by a portfolio management team at Kleinwort Benson Investors International, Ltd, the US-registered adviser affiliate of Kleinwort Benson Investors of Dublin, Ireland.  The managers will identify a diverse group of companies based on industry groups and regions within emerging markets, and invest in high-quality companies that pay above-average dividends, have above-average dividend growth potential, and have strong balance sheets and cash flow.

Virtus Emerging Markets Debt Fund will be managed by the Multi-Sector Fixed Income Strategies team at Newfleet Asset Management, LLC, which has invested in emerging markets as part of its  multi-sector strategies.  The new fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of emerging market debt, including sovereign, quasi-sovereign and corporate bonds.

Virtus International Small-Cap Fund will be managed by Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC and will apply Kayne’s domestic equity investment philosophy that seeks to identify high-quality companies that can grow consistently, through different market cycles, purchased at reasonable prices to produce strong risk-adjusted returns in the equity markets.


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