First American Takes its Global Infrastructure Fund to the Masses
Reported by Erin Kello
Six and a half months after launching its Global Infrastructure Fund to institutional investors, First American Funds is opening the fund's doors to retail investors. The Global Infrastructure Fund is available in A shares and Y shares.
Company Press Release
MINNEAPOLIS - (Business Wire) First American Funds announced today that it is opening its new First American Global Infrastructure Fund to individual investors. The open-end fund, which has been available to select institutional investors since Dec. 17, 2007, is one of the first of its kind in the industry. The fund seeks to provide investors with the benefits of publicly traded global infrastructure investments that capitalize on the estimated $41 trillion that will be required to modernize and expand the world’s infrastructure during the next 25 years.1
For years, large institutional investors have flocked to private investments in global infrastructure because of their distinctive and potentially rewarding diversification benefits. Now, the Global Infrastructure Fund provides both individuals and institutions with access to infrastructure investments in an open-end mutual fund.
“We’ve used a differentiated investment strategy to create a diversified portfolio of global infrastructure stocks that may help investors gain exposure to predictable and growing cash-flow streams through investment in opportunities that may not be in their portfolios today,” said portfolio manager Jay Rosenberg. “This strategy, we believe, may help investors improve portfolio returns and reduce the overall volatility in their portfolios.”
The First American Global Infrastructure Fund
The new Global Infrastructure Fund seeks to provide long-term growth of capital and income by investing in equity securities issued by U.S. and non-U.S. global infrastructure companies. The fund invests in approximately 100 publicly traded infrastructure stocks of global companies in the transportation, energy/utilities, communications, and social infrastructure sectors – companies that operate water systems, gas and electrical distribution networks, toll roads, airports, rail systems, renewable energy sources, outsourced government functions, etc.
Up to 75% of the fund’s holdings are international (non-U.S.) under normal market conditions, and many are not included in the fund’s benchmark index – the S&P Global Infrastructure Index – or other broadly recognized domestic and global indices, thus reducing overlap in a diversified portfolio.
The Global Infrastructure Fund seeks to:
1) Capture the performance of global infrastructure
Historically higher portfolio returns than traditional types of investments, contributing to higher portfolio
returns and lower volatility when added to a portfolio
2) Diversify with ease
• All the benefits of a mutual fund – lower cost of entry, daily liquidity, diversification, and transparency
Shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.
• Lower sensitivity to global market cycles – providing a stabilizing force in a portfolio and potentially higher returns and lower overall portfolio volatility when added to a portfolio
• Historically lower correlation to other types of investments because of global infrastructure’s steady cash flows, consistent demand, and inflation hedge – contributing to potentially higher returns and lower volatility when added to a portfolio
3) Enhance a portfolio with First American expertise
• Differentiated investment strategy designed to reduce overall portfolio volatility by drawing from an expanded range of global infrastructure sectors, sub-sectors, and companies
• Time-tested management expertise with real assets and public policy that may inspire investor confidence in the fund’s investment strategy
Capture the Performance of Global Infrastructure
The Global Infrastructure Fund seeks to capture the historically high returns of global infrastructure investments. Global infrastructure assets have provided historically higher portfolio returns than other traditional asset classes, with five-year returns for the S&P Global Infrastructure Index of 27.12%, three-year returns of 21.0%, and one-year returns of 5.87% as of 3/31/2008.
Source: Morningstar Direct; data as of March 31, 2008
The returns in the chart represent past performance of the indices and should not be viewed as a guarantee of future index or investment performance. Market indices do not include fees. You cannot invest directly in an index.
The chart does not represent the past performance of the First American Global Infrastructure Fund. The fund's inception date is Dec. 17, 2007. It has a limited performance track record. You should not invest based solely on short-term results. For current performance, visit firstamericanfunds.com or call 800-677-FUND.
Diversify with Ease
By diversifying a portfolio with the Global Infrastructure Fund, investors may increase overall portfolio returns and reduce volatility with all the benefits of a mutual fund – lower cost of entry, daily liquidity, diversification, and transparency.
Because of the distinctive characteristics of global infrastructure investments, they are less sensitive to global market cycles and have had historically low correlations to other asset classes. Their distinctive characteristics tend to improve overall portfolio returns and reduce volatility when global infrastructure is added to a portfolio of stocks and bonds.
Low sensitivity to global market cycles. Global infrastructure investments tend to have steady cash flows, consistent consumer demand, and inflation protection. Even when prices go up, consumers will continue to use water, electricity, gas, toll roads, hospitals, and the like.2 Similarly, consumers will continue to use these services during economic or business downturns. Because global infrastructure investments are less sensitive to global market cycles, they tend to act as a stabilizing force in a portfolio, thus reducing overall portfolio volatility.
Low correlation3 to other types of investments. Because infrastructure investments tend to behave differently than other types of investments during the same market periods, they tend to improve overall performance when they’re added to a portfolio. Investors who add between 5% to 10% of infrastructure investments to a diversified portfolio have historically increased portfolio returns and reduced volatility.4
Past performance does not guarantee future results.
Global infrastructure has historically exhibited relatively low correlations to other U.S. and global investments, as the following correlations indicate:
* 0.13 correlation with U.S. bonds (Lehman Brother Aggregate Bond Index)
* 0.46 correlation with U.S. real estate (FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT Index)
* 0.62 correlation with U.S. stocks (S&P 500 Index)
* 0.41 correlation with international bonds (Lehman Brothers Global Aggregate (ex. US) Index)
* 0.57 correlation with international real estate (the Citigroup BMI Global REIT Index)
* 0.80 correlation with international stocks (MSCI EAFE Index).
Based on the 73-month period from 12/1/2001 through 12/31/2007. Source: FAF Advisors, Inc, Morningstar, Bloomberg L.P.
Enhance a Portfolio with First American Expertise
The Global Infrastructure Fund offers investors a way to diversify their portfolios with a differentiated investment strategy managed by an experienced investment team with extensive experience in managing real assets and navigating public policy. Managers believe their expertise may inspire investor confidence in their investment strategy.
Differentiated investment strategy. Portfolio managers seek to increase the overall portfolio returns and reduce the volatility of the Global Infrastructure Fund by:
Expanding the range of investments – The fund invests in a broader range of infrastructure sectors and sub-sectors than those represented by the global infrastructure indices used today.
Uncovering hidden gems – Unlike global infrastructure indices, the fund invests in companies across the entire market-cap spectrum – from micro-cap companies to large-cap companies – resulting in less overlap with global indices.
Investing in tangible-asset-based companies – The fund tends to invest in companies that own, operate, or build tangible assets, which managers believe are the key to stable, income-oriented returns.
As a result of this diversified investment strategy, the Global Infrastructure Fund provides investors with a new way to diversify their portfolios. Because the Global Infrastructure Fund has relatively low correlations with other types of investments, it will tend to behave differently than other types of investments during the same market periods. Thus, it will be more likely to reduce volatility when it’s added to a portfolio.
Management expertise. The Global Infrastructure Fund offers time-tested management expertise with real assets and public policy that may inspire confidence in the fund’s investment strategy.
* Managing real estate funds since 1992 – Average of 19 years in managing real estate mutual funds and estimating future cash flows of companies – the key to success in investing in real estate mutual funds and global infrastructure securities
* Among top managers of real estate – Solid, long-term record managing more than $1.6 billion in real assets
* Practical knowledge – Hands-on experience in public policy, crucial for investing in heavily regulated infrastructure assets
The management team includes two portfolio managers and a number of supporting analysts.
Jay Rosenberg is the chief architect and primary portfolio manager of the fund with 12 years of experience in real estate finance and valuation. He has managed real-asset mutual funds and worked as an urban planner and real estate developer prior to entering the financial-services industry and has a master’s degree in urban planning and public policy.
John Wenker is co-manager of the fund and has 31 years of experience, including 25 in real estate finance and valuation. He serves as FAF Advisors’ head of real estate and has managed real estate funds since 1992. Wenker previously worked in real-estate property assessment and valuation and as a project manager on new and redevelopment projects for city government, was director of revitalization resources at a city community development agency, and has a bachelor’s degree in public administration.
Supporting analysts – A number of supporting analysts who specialize in electric utilities, pipelines, technology infrastructure, electric transmission, water utilities, and transportation.
About First American Funds
The First American Funds mutual fund group had more than $76 billion in open-end funds as of March 31, 2008. The group, which offers more than 50 open-end mutual funds across a full spectrum of investment styles and share classes, is advised by FAF Advisors, Inc.
Investors should carefully consider the funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information; call 800.677.FUND or visit firstamericanfunds.com for a copy. Please read it carefully before investing.
Mutual fund investing involves risk; principal loss is possible.
Investing in specific sectors such as infrastructure-related securities may involve greater risk and volatility than more diversified investments. Risks include greater exposure to adverse economic, regulatory, political, and other changes affecting such securities. Foreign investing, especially in emerging markets, entails additional risks, including currency fluctuations, political and economic instability, accounting changes, and foreign taxation.
Global Infrastructure is represented by the unmanaged S&P Global Infrastructure Index, which tracks the performance of the largest 75 leading publicly traded companies in the global infrastructure industry. U.S. Equity is represented by the unmanaged S&P 500 Index, which tracks the performance of the largest 500 U.S. company stocks. U.S. Fixed Income is represented by the unmanaged Lehman Brothers Aggregate Bond Index, which consists of securities from Lehman Brothers Government/Corporate Bond Index, Mortgage-Backed Securities Index, and the Asset-Backed Securities Index. U.S. Real Estate is represented by the unmanaged FTSE NAREIT Equity REIT Index, an unmanaged capitalization-weighted index of all equity real estate investment trusts. International Equity is represented is represented by the unmanaged MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks the performance of stocks from Europe, Australasia, and the Far East. International Fixed Income is represented by the unmanaged Lehman Brothers Global Aggregate (ex. U.S.) Index, which is considered representative of bonds of foreign countries. International Real Estate is represented by the unmanaged S&P/Citigroup BMI Global REIT Index, which measures the performance of more than 275 real estate investment trusts (REITs) in 13 developed markets. You cannot invest in an index.
FAF Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor and subsidiary of U.S. Bank National Association (NYSE: USB), serves as the investment advisor to First American Funds. First American Funds are distributed by Quasar Distributors, LLC, an affiliate of the investment advisor.
NOT FDIC INSURED
NO BANK GUARANTEE
MAY LOSE VALUE
(1) Source: Strategy + Business magazine (Spring 2007) by Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc.
(2) The portfolio also invests in other types of companies not identified here that may exhibit different demand characteristics
than those referenced.
(3) Correlation is a statistical measure of the degree to which changes in performance of different asset classes in the same market
conditions are related.
(4) Based on average annualized total returns and risk characteristics of two hypothetical portfolios that included global bonds,
global stocks, and global infrastructure from Jan. 1, 2003, to March 31, 2008. Source: Ibbotson