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Rating:Van Kampen Adds a Life Style Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, October 02, 2006

Van Kampen Adds a Life Style

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Van Kampen Funds is joining the fund of funds game with a new lineup of asset allocation funds. Though new, the three funds have a faintly musty odor that for some in the industry may bring to mind a whiff of late 2001 or 2002.

Unlike many of the asset allocation funds being rolled out by competitors, Van Kampen's trio of products has a distinctly first generation feel. The funds are lifestyle-type offerings -- meaning that they come in conservative, moderate and growth flavors -- rather than the target-date maturity flavor now in vogue. Interestingly, there are only three flavors of funds in the lineup, where many competitors now offer as many as five in the lifestyle lineup.

They also each invest in other Van Kampen funds, meaning that they are a proprietary-online product at a time when rival fund firms are debuting open-platform or best-of-breed products.

Michael Kiley, president and CEO of Van Kampen Funds, spun the all-in-house nature of the funds as a positive in the official launch announcement, pointing out that the funds demonstrate Van Kampen's "ability to leverage the Firm's intellectual capital for the benefit of our clients."

"The Fund's managers are able to share investment research and ideas with the global asset allocation experts, providing a robust 'check and balance' network for all analysis and portfolio implementation," Kiley added.

Still, even with their quaint feel, the Van Kampen Asset Allocation Funds will give reps who are loyal to the brand something to offer clients. They also feature an investment team headed by Mark Bavoso, Van Kampen's head of the Domestic Asset Allocation team and an 18-year veteran at the Morgan Stanley unit.

Bavoso notes that the funds should appeal to "investors seeking high levels of risk management experience and a disciplined investment strategy designed to meet their individual risk tolerance."  

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