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William Blair to liquidate three bond funds

497 1 d448645d497.htm WILLIAM BLAIR FUNDS


Supplement to the Summary Prospectus, Prospectus and Statement of Additional Information dated May 1, 2021, as Supplemented

Upon recommendation of the Adviser, the Board of Trustees of William Blair Funds (the “Trust”) determined that it was in the best interests of each of the William Blair Bond Fund, William Blair Short Duration Bond Fund, and William Blair Ultra-Short Duration Bond Fund (each a “Fund” and collectively the “Funds”) to redeem all the shares of the Funds on or before April 15, 2022 (the “Liquidation Date”), and then terminate the Funds. Shareholder approval of the liquidation is not required. The Funds will be closed to new investors effective February 14, 2022 but will remain open for investment until February 28, 2022 for existing shareholders.

At any time prior to the Liquidation Date, the Funds’ shareholders may redeem all or a portion of their shares or exchange their Fund shares for shares in the corresponding class of another fund of the Trust pursuant to procedures set forth in the William Blair Funds’ Prospectus. If you wish to exchange your shares into another fund of the Trust, or would like to request additional copies of the Prospectus and Statement of Additional Information for the Trust including other funds for which you may exchange your shares of the Funds, please call William Blair Funds Shareholder Services or your William Blair client representative at the following numbers:

For Class N and Class I Shares

Call: 1-800-635-2886

(In Massachusetts 1-800-635-2840)

For Class R6 Shares

Call: 1-800-742-7272

If you are invested in the Fund through a financial intermediary, please contact that financial intermediary if you have any questions.

Liquidation of Assets. The Funds will depart from their stated investment objectives and policies as they liquidate holdings in preparation for the distribution of assets to investors. During this time, the Funds may hold more cash, cash equivalents or other short-term investments than normal, which may prevent one or more of the Funds from meeting their stated investment objectives. Any shares of the Funds that have not been redeemed or exchanged prior to the Liquidation Date will be redeemed automatically at their net asset value per share on the Liquidation Date.

Dated: February 14, 2022

William Blair Funds

150 North Riverside Plaza

Chicago, Illinois 60606

Please retain this supplement for future reference.


  • Interesting that Willian Blair is closing its 3 US fixed-income (FI) funds and almost becoming an equity-only shop. There is no m-mkt fund but one may be offered via a 3rd party. Its Macro-Allocation fund has small exposure to FI, so it may retain some FI managers or that fund may be on the chopping block next. There is a small EM Bond fund but I doubt that it would be useful for traditional allocations.
  • Something that pops out when one looks at these funds is that they all had management overhauls within the past couple of years. M* lists each fund's average manager tenure as just one year. The former managers of these three funds, Christopher Vincent and Paul Sularz (all but BIFIX) appear to have retired in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

    William Blair rebooted its fixed income program. It hired Ruta Ziverte in 2019 to "develop[] and execute[] [its] fixed-income growth strategy (in conjunction with other members of the team), team leadership, and select portfolio management." (From M*). One might surmise that the company wasn't thrilled with the short term progress and decided to pull the plug on this relatively small corner of the company (no fund with over $300M AUM).

    Until it was shut down in Nov. 2015 the company did have a MMF - Ready Reserves Fund (RRFXX / WBRXX). Kathleen M. Lynch, the new lead manager of WBLIX co-managed Ready Reserves from 2010 until its demise in 2015; the aforementioned Vincent was the lead manager since 2003. The fund's inception was June 22, 1988.

    The Macro Allocation Fund (WMCIX / WMCNX) has been co-managed by the same two people, Singer and Clarke, since its inception in 2011. The fund does not have a manager dedicated to fixed income. Between 2011 and 2016, Singer and Clarke co-managed PMFIX (as part of a team with more senior managers).
  • Ruta Ziverte resigned which probably set the ball in motion to liquidate the three funds.
  • That would certainly do it.
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