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Rating:4.5 Months Post-Transformation, a Muni Fund Reaches $1B Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, May 16, 2024

4.5 Months Post-Transformation, a Muni Fund Reaches $1B

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The team at a $138-billion-AUM (as of March 31) asset manager is celebrating the recent ascension into ten-figure territory of a freshly transformed, 16-year-old fund.

Mehdi Asif Mahmud
First Eagle Investment Management, LLC
President, CEO
On Monday, Frank Riccio, head of sales and strategic relationships for U.S. wealth solutions at First Eagle Investments [profile], and John Miller, head and chief investment officer of First Eagle's high yield municipal credit team, revealed that the First Eagle High Yield Municipal Fund has surpassed $1 billion in AUM. The fund is a series of First Eagle Funds.

The First Eagle High Yield Municipal Fund comes in four flavors: A shares (FEHAX), with up to 250 basis points in up-front load, up to 100bps in deferred load, and an expense ratio of 125bps; C shares (FEHCX), with up to 100bps in deferred load and an expense ratio of 200bps); I shares (FEHIX), with an expense ratio of 100bps; and R6 shares (FEHRX), with an expense ratio of 100bps. As of March, all those expense ratios baked in a 28bps fee waiver promised through April 30.

Miller attributes the fund's popularity to his team's "disciplined investment approach, rigorous credit analysis and attractive income profile."

"Our fundamentally driven, value-oriented philosophy seeks underrated and undervalued credits across what is a vast and fragmented municipal bond market, often leading us to areas where value can be more challenging to discern," Miller states. "Base rates continue to be elevated, and we believe there remain ample opportunities to target bonds offering attractive yields at compelling valuations."

News of the milestone comes about four and a half months after the First Eagle team transformed their longstanding First Eagle High Income Fund (which debuted on November 19, 2007) into the First Eagle High Yield Municipal Fund on December 27, 2023, giving the fund a new name and updating its strategy. Then a few days later, on January 2, 2024, Miller (a 27-year Nuveen veteran) joined First Eagle, as planned, to lead its new high yield muni credit team; that day, he also took over as the transformed fund's lead portfolio manager.

"Surpassing the $1 billion mark in such a short period of time underscores the confidence investors have in the team and the Fund's strategy, and its potential to access active, long-term tax-advantaged income streams at levels not seen in many years."

The First Eagle High Yield Municipal Fund's service providers include: FEF Distributors, LLC as distributor; First Eagle Investment Management, LLC as investment advisor; JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. as custodian; PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as independent accounting firm; and SS&C GIDS, Inc. as transfer agent. 

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