N/I Numeric to Reopen Growth and Micro Cap Funds

The moves follow 'moderate' outflows in the wake of John C. Bogle Jr.'s departure.
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Less than two months after John C. Bogle Jr.'s sudden departure from

N/I Numeric Investors

, the quantitative money management firm is reopening two of its funds to new investors.

N/I Numeric's $96 million

(NIMCX)

Micro Cap and $62 million

(NISGX)

Growth funds will reopen to existing investors through May 17 and then to all investors, the firm said Tuesday.

Both funds closed in August 1997 when assets reached $100 million. The funds will be allowed to grow to $125 million before closing again. "Those are still incredibly low numbers," says Lynn Wickwire, N/I Numeric's director of mutual fund marketing.

The small-cap Growth fund returned 2.2% in 1998 and is down 4.7% so far in 1999. Micro Cap had a better 1998, returning 16.3%, but is down 11.3% so far in 1999, ranking 21 of 28 micro-cap funds tracked by

Lipper

.

In February, Bogle left the Cambridge, Mass.-based group he joined as a partner in 1990. Founder Langdon Wheeler, who had "periodically talked about retirement ... indicated he wasn't going anywhere anytime soon, so the two of them mutually decided they'd split up," says Wickwire.

Bogle, son of the founder of the

Vanguard Group

, was N/I Numeric's high-profile public face. The funds experienced "moderate" redemptions after he left, says Wickwire.

Shannon Vanderhooft is the lead manager on Micro Cap, while Steven Cusimano runs the Growth fund.

N/I Numeric, which bases investing decisions on computer-generated quantitative models, has about $5 billion under management, mostly for institutional investors. Mutual funds account for only about 6% of the firm's assets under management.

Like Vanguard, N/I Numeric is known for its low expense ratios -- capped at 1% for each of its five funds. But they're also known for high turnover -- as much as 300% annually -- and the firm recommends they be held in tax-free retirement portfolios.