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Friday, July 15, 2011

Aston Swaps Value Sub-Advisors

News summary by MFWire's editors

Cornerstone Investment Partners just won a sub-advisory mandate from Aston Asset Management. Today the Chicago-based mutual fund firm is handing Cornerstone day-to-day management of the three-star, 18-year-old Aston Value Fund (RVALX), replacing MFS Institutional Advisors [see filing].

Why did Aston drop MFS in favor of Cornerstone? Morningstar's Flynn Murphy reports that the change comes after a single institutional client pulled a whopping $230 million out of the fund in March. (The fund only has $25.1 million in assets now.)

Cornerstone's Cameron Clement, Dean Morris, Rick van Nostrand and chief investment officer John Campbell now PM the fund. They succeed MFS' Nevin Chitkara, Steven Gorham, Jonathan Sage and Brooks Taylor. Gorham had PMed the fund since 2002.

Company Press Release

CHICAGO – July 12, 2011 – Aston Asset Management, LP (Aston) has announced a change in the subadvisory relationship for the ASTON Value Fund (the Fund). MFS Institutional Advisors Inc. (MFS), the subadviser to the Fund, and Aston have agreed to terminate the Sub-Investment Advisory Agreement between MFS and Aston. Effective July 15, 2011, Cornerstone Investment Partners, LLC (Cornerstone) has been appointed as the new subadviser to the Fund and the name of the Fund has been changed to the ASTON/Cornerstone Large Cap Value Fund. The Fund’s investment objective, ticker symbols, and CUSIPs all remain the same.

In connection with the subadviser change, the investment strategies of the Fund were altered to reflect the investment process employed by Cornerstone. Details on the new portfolio managers and investment strategy for the ASTON/Cornerstone Large Cap Value Fund may be found in the supplement to the prospectus dated July 11, 2011.

Aston will remain as the investment adviser to the Fund while Cornerstone will act as subadviser, responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fund. Cornerstone is an employee-owned registered investment advisor based in Atlanta, GA., specializing in large cap value strategies.

“Cornerstone is an established boutique institutional manager specializing in large cap value strategies,” said Stuart D. Bilton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aston. “They are well-suited to Aston’s model of partnering with institutional investment managers with disciplined investment processes.”

The portfolio managers for the Fund will be Mr. John Campbell, CFA, Chief Investment Officer of Cornerstone; Mr. Rick van Nostrand, CFA, Portfolio Manager of Cornerstone; Mr. Cameron Clement, CFA, Portfolio Manager of Cornerstone; and Mr. Dean Morris, CFA, Portfolio Manager of Cornerstone.

“We are pleased to partner with Aston through the ASTON/Cornerstone Large Cap Value Fund,” said John Campbell, CIO of Cornerstone. “At Cornerstone, our philosophy centers around the belief that stock prices are more volatile than the underlying fundamentals of a given company. This anomaly provides an opportunity for us, as disciplined investors, to potentially benefit from security mispricing.”

To request more information, please contact Tony Kono at 973-850-7323 or tkono@jcprinc.com.

About Aston Asset Management, LP

Aston Asset Management, LP, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is a diversified institutional investment management firm. Aston offers investment management services to the mutual fund and separately managed account markets. Aston is the advisor to twenty-four mutual funds with total net assets of approximately $9.6 billion as of June 30, 2011. For more information on the funds managed by Aston please call 800-597-9704.

Note: Value investing often involves buying the stocks of companies that are currently out of favor that may decline further.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. Please call 800 597-9704 for a prospectus which contains this and other information about the Fund. Read it carefully before you invest or send money. Aston Funds are distributed by BNY Mellon Distributors Inc. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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