January 2024 IssueLong scroll reading

Briefly Noted…

By TheShadow


The merger of the BlackRock Capital Appreciation Fund into the BlackRock Large Cap Focus Growth Fund, originally scheduled to occur by the end of 2023, has been delayed.

Several iShare ETFs, iShares Expanded Tech Sector ETF, iShares Expanded Tech- Software Sector ETF, iShares U.S. Pharmaceuticals ETF, iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF, iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF, iShares U.S. Financial Services ETF, iShares U.S. Healthcare ETF, iShares U.S. Consumer Staples ETF, iShares U.S. Transportation ETF. and iShares Semiconductor ETF will undergo a stock split. Shares of the iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on February 22, 2024. Shares of each Fund other than the iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF will begin trading on a split-adjusted basis on March 7, 2024.

Matthews Asia International has registered two new ETFs, the Matthews Emerging Markets Discovery Active ETF and the Matthews China Discovery Active ETF. The total annual fund operating expenses after fee waiver are .89% for both newly registered ETFs.

The Neuberger Berman Short Duration Bond Fund will be reorganized into an ETF having the same portfolio managers and managed in a substantially similar manner as the mutual fund.  The conversion will occur during the late second or early third quarter of 2024.  

The previously announced liquidation of Virtus Stone Harbor Strategic Income Fund is now expected to take place on or about January 30, 2024.

Briefly Noted . . .

It’s also sad when the name on the door gets sort of scraped off. Effective January 1, 2024, Evan Fox will begin serving as a co-portfolio manager of the Pzena Mid Cap Value Fund. Also effective January 1, 2024, Richard Pzena will no longer be a portfolio manager of the Fund.

CLOSINGS (and related inconveniences)

BBH Select Series – Large Cap Fund liquidated its Retail share class on December 21, 2023. Retail shares were rolled into the Institutional share class. New would-be retail investors would need to ante up the $10,000 minimum for an institutional purchase. It’s a four-star fund with about a half billion in assets, presumably mostly in the institutional shares.


Effective January 29, 2024, the four-star Virtus KAR Small-Cap Growth Fund will be open to new investors. The fund has a splendid long-term record, which led it to close five years ago. Its performance lagged its peers in 2021 and 2022, but it still sports 2% ten-year returns. The fund has an expense ratio of 1.33%. The fund is subadvised by Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management portfolio managers, Todd Beiley and Jon K. Christensen.


Green Flight continues: on February 29, 2024, abrn does another somersault. The abrdn U.S. Sustainable Leaders Smaller Companies Fund will become the abrdn Focused U.S. Small Cap Equity Fund. This will be the fund’s fourth rebranding:

  • 2001-2017 Aberdeen Long-Short Equity Fund
  • 2017-2020 Aberdeen Focused US Equity Fund
  • 2020-2023 Aberdeen (then abrdn) US Sustainable Leaders Small Companies
  • 2024- ??? abrdn Focused US Small Cap Equity Fund

The newest manifestation of the fund will strip the “sustainability” mandate. On the same day, abrdn International Sustainable Leaders Fund becomes abrdn Emerging Markets Dividend Fund. The fund started life as Julius Baer International, then Artio International, became Aberdeen Select International Equity in 2013, became “Sustainable” when that was trendy (2020) and is transitioning to EM dividends because … well, why not?

Eaton Vance Short Duration Strategic Income Fund is changing its name to Eaton Vance Strategic Income Fund

Effective on or about February 12, 2024, Hartford Short Duration ETF becomes the Hartford AAA CLO ETF. This is one of those complete gut jobs in which the name, investment objective, principal investment strategy, portfolio management team, performance benchmark, and management fee all change. What remains of the old fund? Hmmm … the ticker symbol?


1919 Variable Socially Responsive Balanced Fund is expected to cease operations and liquidate on or about March 1, 2024.

AMG GW&K Emerging Markets Equity Fund and AMG GW&K Emerging Wealth Equity Fund, also an emerging markets fund, will be liquidated on February 9, 2024. AMG GW&K Global Allocation Fund and AMG River Road International Value Equity Fund, not emerging markets funds die with them. The latter fund was a domestic long-short equity fund until August 2021.

Armor US Equity Index ETF ended on December 29, 2023.

BNY Mellon International Equity Income Fund will be liquidated on or about February 9, 2024.

C Worldwide International Equities fund disappeared on the Winter Solstice, December 21, 2023.

Corbett Road Tactical Opportunity ETF was liquidated on December 29, 2023.

Franklin Mutual Financial Services Fund will merge into Franklin Mutual Global Discovery Fund on or about April 26, 2024, but the move “may be delayed if unforeseen circumstances arise.”

Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta Paris-Aligned Climate U.S. Large Cap Equity ETF will be liquidated on January 12, 2024, as a result of the board’s consideration of “a number of factors.” Which ones? Didn’t share.

Harding, Loevner Funds will liquidate their institutional share classes of the Global Equity Research Portfolio, International Equity Research Portfolio, and Emerging Markets Research Portfolio on or about January 31, 2024.

Janus Henderson Sustainable & Impact Core Bond will be liquidated and terminated on or about February 21, 2024. Having warmed up with that fund, Janus Henderson Global Bond Fund will follow its sibling into extinction a week later, on February 29, 2024.

Lord Abbett Global Bond Fund faces liquidation and dissolution on or around March 15, 2024. One week later, on March 22, 2024, Lord Abbett Corporate Bond Fund will be merged into Lord Abbett Income Fund “to create a single larger fund” (as if that were a goal in and of itself).

MainStay Defensive ETF Allocation Fund and MainStay ESG Multi-Asset Allocation Fund will be liquidated on February 28, 2024.

The Mercer US Large Cap Equity Fund will be liquidated on February 1, 2024.

After careful consideration, and at the recommendation of Merk Investments LLC, the investment adviser to the Merk Stagflation ETF the Board of Trustees of Listed Funds Trust approved the closing and subsequent liquidation of the Fund pursuant to the terms of a Plan of Liquidation. Accordingly, the Fund is expected to cease operations, liquidate its assets, and distribute the liquidation proceeds to shareholders on or about December 27, 2023.

Mirova U.S. Sustainable Equity Fund was not sustained into the New Year. Instead, it passed away on December 28, 2023.

The Superfund Managed Futures Strategy Fund will be liquidated on or about March 29, 2024.

V-Shares US Leadership Diversity ETF and V-Shares MSCI World ESG Materiality and Carbon Transition ETF will be liquidated immediately after the close of business on January 10, 2024

Effective December 13, 2023, the Virtus Duff & Phelps International Real Estate Securities Fund was liquidated (pursuant to a Plan of Liquidation).

In light of “the persistent lack of investor demand and limited prospects for future asset growth,” the WisdomTree U.S. ESG Fund will be liquidated on or about February 5, 2024. From inception in February 2007 until March 16, 2020, this was the WisdomTree U.S. Total Market Fund, which became an ESG fund when ESG was trendy.

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About TheShadow

The Shadow here! Like Mark, I’m a long-time member of the MFO community. I’ve started over 2300 discussion threads, most focusing on developments in the fund industry. I am a personal investor that was introduced to mutual funds when I was young to fund my college education. As I have grown older, I have expanded my mutual funds holdings to a point where I probably have too many; however, this year they all did extremely well due to the overall performance of the market. I work in the financial industry regulating the consumer finance industry in my state. My hope for the months ahead is that I might share word of developments in the finance industry – the comings and goings, launches and liquidations, the fun and the follies – with you.