Royce Finishes Chapter 2 of a Methodical and Strategic Product Review
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Royce Finishes Chapter 2 of a Methodical and Strategic Product Review

The Royce & Associates [profile] team is rebranding a trio of mutual funds tomorrow, but without truly changing the way the funds work.

Steven M. Lipper
Royce & Associates
Principal, Portfolio Manager
Steve Lipper, principal and PM at the New York City-based, small-cap-investing-focused, Legg Mason boutique, confirms that the Royce Opportunity Select Fund, the Royce Value Fund, and the Royce Value Plus Fund will each change names, to help investors better understand what the funds already do.

The five-star, $21.8-million Opportunity Select Fund's new name will be the Royce Micro-Cap Opportunity Fund, with William Hench still lead PMing. The two-star, $803.1-million Value Fund will become the Royce Small-Cap Value Fund, with Jay Kaplan still PMing. And the two-star, $882.5-million Value Plus Fund will transform into the Royce Small Companies Fund, with Chip Skinner still lead PMing.

"We sought to better align what the fund is doing, from a clarity standpoint, and the name," Lippers tells MFWire. "This is just about making clarity of choice ... If you're an investor that prizes this [particular market capitalization], this is what we already do."

Lipper, who joined Royce in October with a mandate "to be the connector between the investment and business sides," describes the rebranding of the three funds as the second of two chapters in "a methodical and strategic review of [Royce's] offerings." The first chapter, completed in March, involved liquidating and merging some funds in what Lipper calls "a healthy pruning.

Lipper clarifies that "there's not a promotional initiative" around the rebranding of the three funds, though naturally the Royce team has updated the funds' materials accordingly and will be letting clients and intermediaries know directly, too.

As of March 31, Royce claimed about $29 billion in total assets under management, and Morningstar estimates that $23.869 billion of that is in Royce's mutual funds.

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