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Monday, February 25, 2013

Touchstone Cleans Up Its Menu

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

We may still have a month left of winter, but already one mutual fund firm has started spring cleaning.

Touchstone has announced a major tweaking of its product lineup.

In particular, two funds are being reorganized, while another six are being liquidated. Two other funds have been appointed new sub-advisors — with one of these funds also changing its investment strategy.

Moreover, Touchstone has announced that during the four-year tenure of president Steve Graziano, the firm has tripled its assets under management to nearly $15 billion.

Part of this growth was ruled by two acquisitions over the past 16-months: that of selected funds from Old Mutual Asset Management in October 2011, and 16 funds from Fifth Third in April 2012.

Here is the press release, with further details on the product changes, below:
Company Press Release

Touchstone Investments Caps Year of Growth By Focusing Its Fund Lineup

  CINCINNATI – Feb. 22, 2013 – Touchstone Investments announced today that the Board of Trustees of the Touchstone Funds has approved two fund reorganizations, six fund liquidations and appointments of new sub-advisors for two funds, one of which is also changing its investment strategy.

  These steps are being taken as part of Touchstone Investments’ ongoing evaluation of the firm’s resources to ensure its funds continue to serve the long-term needs of investors. By positioning its funds for increases in economies of scale, Touchstone Investments believes it is better equipped to offer investors the best possible options across a wide range of investment strategies.

  These developments follow a year of outstanding growth for Touchstone Investments. As of Dec. 31, 2012, Touchstone oversees $14.8 billion in assets under management, having nearly doubled that amount in one year. These accomplishments are the result of organic strategies as well as successful acquisitions.

  Unlike other mutual fund providers, Touchstone seeks third-party, institutional money managers that are experts in their respective asset classes and strategies to manage its funds. These money managers are selected and monitored based on a meticulous process over a broad range of criteria, including organizational stability, personnel, investment discipline, infrastructure and performance.

  “By putting our funds into the hands of best-in-class managers, Touchstone gives itself the freedom to focus on growing and running our business,” said Steven M. Graziano, president ofTouchstone Investments. “Our business model enables Touchstone to provide time-tested strategies to the investing public.”

  The Board approved the following reorganizations, liquidations and sub-advisor changes:
  • Touchstone Focused Equity Fund will merge into Touchtone Focused Fund, and pending shareholder approval, Touchstone Short Duration Fixed Income Fund will merge intoTouchstone Ultra Short Duration Fixed Income Fund. A special shareholder meeting for voting on the Touchstone Short Duration Fixed Income Fund merger is expected to occur on or about May 13, 2013.  It is anticipated that both mergers will be consummated on or about May 17, 2013.
  • Touchstone Micro Cap Value Fund will change its strategy and concurrently be renamed Touchstone Small Cap Growth Fund.  The Fund will seek long-term capital growth by investing in equity securities of small-cap companies.  Also approved was the selection of Apex Capital Management, Inc. as sub-advisor to the Fund along with the reduction of the Fund’s total operating expense limitations. These changes will go into effect on or about April 26, 2013.
  • Touchstone Emerging Growth Fund, Touchstone Global Equity Fund, Touchstone International Equity Fund, Touchstone Large Cap Relative Value Fund, Touchstone Market Neutral Equity Fund and Touchstone U.S. Long/Short Fund will be liquidated and closed due to factors including their limited scale and growth potential, and the redundancy of certain investment strategies.  Each Fund will be closed on or about March 26, 2013.
  • Russell Implementation Services Inc. was approved as the interim sub-advisor to the Touchstone Global Real Estate Fund, effective on or about Feb. 22, 2013.

      A summary of the fund changes is available at www.TouchstoneInvestments.com/shared/formslit/pdf/TSF-1830A-1302.pdf and details can be found in the respective fund prospectuses at: www.TouchstoneInvestments.com/home/formslit/.

      About Touchstone Investments

    Touchstone Investments is a mutual fund company committed to providing investors with access to institutional asset managers who act in a sub-advisory capacity. While its sub-advisors are held to strict performance standards, they work with a large measure of independence and operate within their own demonstrated areas of expertise. Touchstone’s sub-advisor selection and monitoring approach is built upon the conviction that an asset manager’s organizational stability, quality of its personnel, adherence to its investment discipline and infrastructure represent the elements of repeatable, value-added performance results over time. This philosophy has resulted in a diverse but focused product offering that gives investors a full breadth of investment options across styles and asset classes. The Touchstone Funds are advised by Touchstone Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor, and are distributed nationally through intermediaries including broker-dealers, financial planners and institutions by Touchstone Securities, Inc., a registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.

      Touchstone, Touchstone Funds and Touchstone Investments are federal service mark registrations and applications owned by IFS Financial Services, Inc. TouchstoneSecurities, Inc., Touchstone Advisors, Inc. and IFS Financial Services, Inc. are members of Western & Southern Financial Group. For more information, please visitwww.TouchstoneInvestments.com.

      About Western & Southern Financial Group

    Beginning as The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company in 1888 in Cincinnati, Western & Southern Financial Group (Western & Southern) is marking its 125th anniversary in business and is now a Fortune 500 diversified family of financial services companies with assets owned and managed in excess of $60 billion as of Dec. 31, 2012. Western & Southern is one of the eight highest-rated life insurance groups in the world based on Standard & Poor’s ratings. For more information, visit www.westernsouthern.com. Western & Southern is the title sponsor of the Western & Southern Open (www.wsopen.com) tennis tournament, a premier event in the U.S. Open Series featuring the world’s top-ranked professional male and female players.

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