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June 06, 2007
Calvert's New Growth Fund Has Global Focus
    by Anne Moore Odell

American SRI pioneer Calvert launches the Calvert International Opportunities Fund, a small and mid-cap fund with UK-based F&C Management as sub-advisor.


Investors have a chance to invest in international, non-US small and mid-cap stocks through the newly launched Calvert International Opportunities Fund (ticker: CIOAX). Calvert, based in Bethesda, MD, will bring its know-how to the new Fund with each stock meeting strict environmental, social, and governance criteria. London-based F&C is the Fund’s sub-advisor, bringing years of international and SRI experience to the Fund.

This new fund complements Calvert’s large-cap international stock fund, the Calvert World Values International Equity Fund, which launched in 1992. Currently, Calvert offers 42 funds with a range of investment objectives. Twenty-two of the funds are socially responsible.

“We decided to launch the Fund to expand Calvert’s existing equity product line and international offerings across multiple capitalization ranges,” said Steve Falci, Calvert’s Chief Investment Officer. “In the small- and mid-cap international category, this new fund offers financial advisors and their clients the ability to more fully diversify their international opportunities and exposures.”

Stocks will focus on developed countries; however, up to 20% of portfolio companies could be from emerging markets. The Fund will apply the same fundamental analysis across all geographic areas.

The Fund will chose from small to mid range companies whose market capitalization is in the Citigroup/S&P World EX-US EMI Index. This Index follows companies in the $500 million to $30 billion range as of the end of December 2006.

“Portfolio managers will work to identify key picture industry trends and themes, such as the rising demand for alternative energy, and then conduct detailed company research to find those businesses with the most attractive qualities,” explained Jason Hollands, Head of Communications at F&C. “The strategy is to find the right companies in the right sectors.”

F&C Management is a subsidiary of F&C Asset Management, which has more than $200 billion under management. Since the first SRI mutual fund it launched in Europe in 1984, F&C has been a leader in the European SRI market.

“Calvert’s due diligence analysis revealed that F&C was one of the strongest global asset managers worldwide, with an impressive track record and proven investment process rooted in stock selection across all areas of the international markets,” Falci said.

“We saw a unique opportunity for synergy between the two firms in conducting environmental, social and governance research analysis, implementing investment strategy, and constructing the final portfolio for the Fund,” he added.

The Fund’s portfolio managers are Sophie Horsfall and Terry Coles. The team manages the Stewardship International Fund, a European SRI fund, which Horsfall has managed since 2002. Prior to joining F&C, Horsfall worked at Dresdner RCM Global Investors where she also managed ethical portfolios.

The F&C portfolio managers are supported by a team of 15 governance and socially responsible investment analysts who conduct detailed research into sustainability practices and policy developments at companies that will shape their operating environments. The managers plan to actively engage with companies on sustainability issues.

“While the Fund's basic investment style relies on fundamental, bottom up research, F&C's house macroeconomic view is set by its Strategy Team,” explained Falci. “This team analyzes top-level economic data to develop a general, strategic ‘theme’ with regard to country, regional and sector allocation. The team's output is another tool that the portfolio management team is free to use as a backdrop during portfolio construction, but does not necessarily drive investment decisions.”

The Fund opened with Class A and I shares totaling $3 million. It is available to all US investors and can be purchased through registered investment advisors and brokerage firms.

Calvert has approximately $15 billion in assets under management. Besides its family of funds, Calvert produces the Calvert Social Index, which benchmarks large, US socially responsible companies.

 

 
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