September 2021 IssueLong scroll reading

Briefly Noted

By David Snowball


Effective immediately, Neuberger Berman Commodity Strategy Fund‘s investment strategy will permit the fund to invest up to 5% of its assets in cryptocurrency investments through bitcoin futures and investments in the securities of exchange-traded funds organized and listed for trading in Canada to gain indirect exposure to bitcoin.

WisdomTree Cloud Computing Fund, an active ETF, now solemnly swears not to invest in … you know, weapons systems, coal, or tobacco. In short, it’s declared itself to be socially responsible by not investing in things it wasn’t going to invest in anyway.

Briefly Noted . . .


Effective immediately, Vanguard Wellington Fund is re-opened to all prospective financial advisory, institutional, and intermediary clients without limitation. The fund remains open to all other clients without limitation.

CLOSINGS (and related inconveniences)

The Artisan International Small-Mid Fund closed to most new investors at the end of business on July 30, 2021.

Effective as of the close of business on September 5, 2021, sales and operations of Class Y shares of the Swan Defined Risk Fund, Swan Defined Risk Emerging Markets Fund, Swan Defined Risk Foreign Fund, Swan Defined Risk U.S. Small Cap Fund, and Swan Defined Risk Growth Fund will be suspended. It is a minor inconvenience for most of us since the minimum initial investment for “Y” shares was $25,000,000.

The five-star, billion-dollar WCM International Small Cap Growth Fund, an institutional fund, has soft-closed.


Effective August 16, 2021, AMG River Road Long-Short Fund disappears and is replaced with AMG River Road International Value Equity Fund. Matt Moran and Dan Johnson lose their positions as managers and are succeeded by Wenjun (William) Yang and Jeffrey B. Hoskins.

The five-star, $300 million BlackRock Long-Horizon Equity Fund has become BlackRock Unconstrained Equity Fund.

BlackRock Mid-Cap Value Fund has now become BlackRock Mid Cap Dividend Fund.

BMO is selling its fund operations to Columbia Funds. 

BMO Fund Corresponding Acquiring Fund
BMO Disciplined International Equity Fund Columbia Overseas Value Fund
BMO Mid-Cap Value Fund Columbia Select Mid Cap Value Fund
BMO Small-Cap Value Fund Columbia Small Cap Value Fund II
BMO Short Tax-Free Fund Columbia Short Term Municipal Bond Fund
BMO Short-Term Income Fund Columbia Short Term Bond Fund
BMO Balanced Allocation Fund Columbia Capital Allocation Moderate Aggressive Portfolio
BMO LGM Emerging Markets Equity Fund Columbia Emerging Markets Fund
BMO Mid-Cap Growth Fund Columbia Mid Cap Growth Fund
BMO Core Plus Bond Fund Columbia Total Return Bond Fund
BMO Corporate Income Fund Columbia Corporate Income Fund
BMO Intermediate Tax-Free Fund Columbia Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund
BMO Strategic Income Fund Columbia Strategic Income Fund
BMO Conservative Allocation Fund Columbia Capital Allocation Conservative Portfolio
BMO Moderate Allocation Fund Columbia Capital Allocation Moderate Portfolio
BMO Growth Allocation Fund Columbia Capital Allocation Aggressive Portfolio
BMO Aggressive Allocation Fund Columbia Capital Allocation Aggressive Portfolio
BMO Dividend Income Fund Columbia Integrated Large Cap Value Fund
BMO Large Cap Value Fund Columbia Integrated Large Cap Value Fund
BMO Low Volatility Equity Fund Columbia Integrated Large Cap Value Fund
BMO Large-Cap Growth Fund Columbia Integrated Large Cap Growth Fund
BMO Small-Cap Growth Fund Columbia Integrated Small Cap Growth Fund
BMO Pyrford International Stock Fund Columbia Pyrford International Stock Fund
BMO Ultra Short Tax-Free Fund Columbia Ultra Short Municipal Bond Fund

BAMC’s disciplined equity team (the “DE Team”) manages the (1) BMO Disciplined International Fund, (2) BMO Mid-Cap Value Fund, (3) BMO Small-Cap Value Fund, (4) BMO Mid-Cap Growth Fund, (5) BMO Dividend Income Fund, (6) BMO Large-Cap Value Fund, (7) BMO Low Volatility Equity Fund, (8) BMO Large-Cap Growth Fund, and (9) BMO Small-Cap Growth Fund (together, the “DE Funds”). The DE Team will transfer to become employees of Columbia on or about December 16, 2021. 

On September 24, 2021, the $4 million Cannabis Growth Fund transforms into the Cannabis Growth ETF.

Shareholders have been asked to approve the merger of EquityCompass Tactical Risk Manager ETF (TERM) into EquityCompass Risk Manager ETF (ERM). The disappearance of TERM ($12 million AUM, trailing 100% of its peers over the past three years) isn’t unusual, the desperate attempt to keep ERM afloat ($11 million AUM, trailing 97% of its peers) isn’t that unusual but the requirement to ask permission from ETF shareholders is exceedingly unusual.

It’s not clear whether the revolving door of fund names is going to slow, but Rochedale Emerging Markets begat City National Rochedale Emerging Markets which begat Fiera Capital Emerging Markets Fund, which (in July) begat Sunbridge Capital Emerging Markets Fund. It’s a really exceptional $600 million fund whose record is besmirched by a single horrendous year (2018). The manager-since-inception, Anindya Chatterjee, formed Sunbridge in order to acquire control of his fund. There’s a nice discussion of the twists (thanks, msf!) on our discussion board.

Global X MSCI Norway ETF (the “Acquired Fund”)is merging into Global X FTSE Nordic Region ETF then, like the rampaging xenomorphic in Alien, it will erupt from within the body of its host. After ingesting the Norway ETF, the Nordic Region ETF will be renamed Global X MSCI Norway ETF; its ticker symbol will be NORW, and it will follow the same investment objective and principal investment strategies as the original Norway fund, be benchmarked against the MSCI Norway IMI 25/50 Index and rely on the Norway Fund’s historical record. The Reorganization will occur in the fourth calendar quarter of 2021.

JPMorgan Intrepid Growth Fund has been rechristened as JPMorgan U.S. GARP Equity Fund.

James Alpha Global Real Estate Investments Fund has become Easterly Global Real Estate Fund following Easterly’s decision to buy partial ownership of James Alpha.

Litman Gregory is in the process of acquiring one fund and two ETFs from iM Global Partners. Same structure, teams, and expenses but …

Before the change you owned … But after the change, you’ll own …
iM Dolan McEniry Corporate Bond Fund iM Dolan McEniry Corporate Bond Fund
iM DBi Managed Futures Strategy ETF iM DBi Managed Futures Strategy ETF
iM DBi Hedge Strategy ETF iM DBi Hedge Strategy ETF

Shareholders have been asked to approve the reorganization of Macquarie Large Cap Value Portfolio into Delaware Value Fund. The Delaware fund has $10 billion in AUM and is … meh, kind of mediocre with average risk but noticeably below average returns over the past five years.

The Marketfield Fund (previously the MainStay Marketfield Fund and, before that, the Marketfield Fund) is about to become the Cromwell Marketfield L/S Fund. Expenses will range from 2.36% (for institutional shares) to 3.36% (for “C” shares).

Effective December 31, 2021, Nuveen NWQ Flexible Income Fund will be renamed Nuveen Flexible Income Fund.

Effective November 30, 2021, Santa Barbara Management is being removed from the Nuveen Santa Barbara (formerly Santa Barbara) Funds and replaced by Nuveenites. In consequence, the funds will be renamed as follows:

Current Fund Name New Fund Name
Nuveen Santa Barbara Dividend Growth Fund Nuveen Dividend Growth Fund
Nuveen Santa Barbara Global Dividend Growth Fund Nuveen Global Dividend Growth Fund
Nuveen Santa Barbara International Dividend Growth Fund Nuveen International Dividend Growth Fund

Similarly, on October 29, 2021, the Nuveen NWQ Funds lose NWQ Investment Management and will be renamed:

Current Fund Name New Fund Name
Nuveen NWQ Global Equity Income Fund Nuveen Global Equity Income Fund
Nuveen NWQ International Value Fund Nuveen International Value Fund
Nuveen NWQ Multi-Cap Value Fund Nuveen Multi Cap Value Fund
Nuveen NWQ Large-Cap Value Fund Nuveen Large Cap Value Fund
Nuveen NWQ Small/Mid-Cap Value Fund Nuveen Small/Mid Cap Value Fund
Nuveen NWQ Small-Cap Value Fund Nuveen Small Cap Value Opportunities Fund

Pinnacle TrendRating Innovative Equity Fund is now the Pinnacle Sherman Breakaway Strategy Fund.

The planned conversion of Steward Small-Mid Cap Enhanced Index Fund and Steward Large Cap Enhanced Index Fund into actively managed growth funds, originally scheduled to occur at the end of August, has been delayed under October 29, 2021.

Effective October 26, 2021, the Tactical Conservative Allocation Fund will be renamed TFA Tactical Income Fund.

Effective July 29, 2021, the Tweedy, Browne Global Value Fund and Tweedy, Browne Global Value Fund II – Currency Unhedged will change their names to Tweedy, Browne International Value Fund and Tweedy, Browne International Value Fund II – Currency Unhedged.

The previously announced merger of Wells Fargo Diversified Equity Fund into Wells Fargo Spectrum Aggressive Growth Fund is now expected to occur on or about October 22, 2021.

Effective August 18, 2021, Xtrackers MSCI ACWI ex USA ESG Leaders Equity ETF is known as Xtrackers Emerging Markets Carbon Reduction and Climate Improvers ETF.


AQR Risk Parity II MV Fund is in the process of being liquidated. It will close to new investments on October 13, 2021 (really, why wait?), will begin liquidating its portfolio that day, and will be gone by November 5, 2021.

The $30 million CAN SLIM Tactical Growth Fund disappeared on August 31, 2021, after a run of 16 years. Can Slim is not a diet supplement (who knew?) but, instead, is the acronym for the seven characteristics of great stocks as propounded by William O’Neill, founder of the Investor’s Business Daily. Apparently, great stocks aren’t always great investments, and the fund substantially trailed its Lipper peer group and the S&P 500 over both the short- and long-term.

Direxion Connected Consumer ETF, Direxion High Growth ETF, Direxion S&P 500® High minus Low Quality ETF and Direxion MSCI USA ESG – Leaders vs. Laggards ETF “will be closed to purchase by investors” as of the close of regular trading on the NYSE on September 17, 2021. That’s the gentle way of saying “liquidated.”

Hanlon Managed Income Fund was liquidated and dissolved on August 27, 2021.

Hartford Multifactor International Fund will be liquidated on or about September 24, 2021. Morningstar’s algorithms gave it a Gold rating; both the market (which it substantially trailed) and investors (who committed only $3 million to it) disagreed.

The Hartford Multifactor Large Cap Value Fund was liquidated “on or about” August 20, 2021.

Management is recommending that Hartford Schroders Opportunistic Income Fund be liquidated on or before October 31, 2021, so I guess it will be.

Jackson Square Select 20 Growth Fund was liquidated on August 30, 2021.

The Janus Long-Term Care ETF has entered hospice care; visitation will be held on or about October 14, 2021

Morgan Stanley Emerging Markets Small Cap Portfolio was merged into Morgan Stanley Next Gen Emerging Markets Portfolio in early August.

The impending liquidation of the RBC BlueBay Global Bond Fund, originally scheduled for August 20, 2021, has been delayed and is currently expected to occur on or about September 29, 2021.

SGA International Equity Fund was liquidated on August 23, 2021.

Transamerica Event Driven will see its last sunrise on or about October 22, 2021.

Value Line Tax Exempt Fund will, following shareholder approval, be liquidated by year’s end.

Ziegler Piermont Small Cap Value Fund will be liquidated, terminated, and, possibly, looked down upon, on September 24, 2021. The advisor gave up on the fund, which had under $300,000 in assets, most of which came from large investments by two of its three managers, after a year.

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About David Snowball

David Snowball, PhD (Massachusetts). Cofounder, lead writer. David is a Professor of Communication Studies at Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, a nationally-recognized college of the liberal arts and sciences, founded in 1860. For a quarter century, David competed in academic debate and coached college debate teams to over 1500 individual victories and 50 tournament championships. When he retired from that research-intensive endeavor, his interest turned to researching fund investing and fund communication strategies. He served as the closing moderator of Brill’s Mutual Funds Interactive (a Forbes “Best of the Web” site), was the Senior Fund Analyst at FundAlarm and author of over 120 fund profiles. David lives in Davenport, Iowa, and spends an amazing amount of time ferrying his son, Will, to baseball tryouts, baseball lessons, baseball practices, baseball games … and social gatherings with young ladies who seem unnervingly interested in him.