A 36-Year-Old Fund Closes After Death of Its Advisor
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Monday, July 03, 2017

A 36-Year-Old Fund Closes After Death of Its Advisor

The Northeast Investors Growth Fund (NTHFX) is closing on June 29, according to a letter from the advisorís president, Nancy Mulligan. Billy Oates, formerly the sole owner of the advisor and president of the fund, died in February. Mulligan took over as president of Boston-based Northeast Management and Research after Oatesí death in February.

Nancy Mulligan
Northeast Investors Growth Fund

Northeast declined to comment on the subject and no one from the fundís administrator, ALPS Funds, immediately returned a call for comment.

NTHFX is Northeastís only fund and it is unclear what will happen to the firm once the fund is liquidated. Northeast has 22 employees. The Northeast Investors Growth Fund was launched in 1980 and has $53.6 million in net assets. The fund closed to purchases on May 19, 2017 and all of its investor's accounts will be liquidated on June 29.

On top of Oatesí death, there was declining interest in the fund over the last few years and the expenses were getting too high to maintain, MFWire has learned.

"It is a stand-alone Fund that does not afford investors different investment opportunities, making it less attractive to new investors. Finally, increasing regulatory burdens and associated costs of operating mutual funds have made it very difficult for the Fund to compete with larger funds that have the scale to manage these costs," the letter says.

The letter also states that Northeast and the fundís board have been working to reduce the fundís size for some time.

"The death of Billy Oates, the sole owner of the Advisor and President of the Fund, accelerated this discussion," the letter goes on.

Northeast did not consider selling the fund to another advisor.

Billy Oates graduated from Colby College and Harvard business school and helped found Northeast Management and Research in 1980. He served as a director of the Colby Art Museum, a trustee of Colby College, a director of The Center at Westwoods, a trustee of The Roxbury Latin School and a trustee of Groton School.

"He was a collector, not just of art, books, autographs and porcelain, but of friendships. He was always interested in meeting and making new friends," a biography of Oates on Northeastís website says.

Oates died on February 14, 2017 at the age of 74 from complications of multiple myeloma. He is survived by his wife, Muffy Oates, and his three daughters, two brothers, and six grandchildren.

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