Wells Fargo Signs Strong Portfolio Managers and Receives Board Approvals
San Francisco — September 15, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO, September 15, 2004 – Wells Capital Management Incorporated, the investment management subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), said today it has selected most of the portfolio managers from Strong Capital Management, Inc. who have signed on to join the firm upon completion of Wells Fargo’s pending acquisition of certain Strong asset management arrangements. The closing of the transaction, which includes mutual fund and institutional investment accounts, is subject to Strong Funds shareholder and other approvals, and is expected to take place at the end of the year or early next year.
The Strong portfolio managers joining Wells Capital Management are located throughout the country and will continue to operate from their present locations using their unique investment processes and philosophies. “We’re excited that Wells Capital Management values the autonomy and accountability of its investment management teams,” said Dick Weiss, director and head of Strong’s investment department. “Wells Fargo’s vast resources and solid record of corporate governance enable us to continue focusing our efforts on delivering superior performance for our clients.”
Subject to the completion of the acquisition, the Strong portfolio managers joining Wells Capital Management include:
|Portfolio Managers||Investment Style||Location|
|Small/Mid Cap Core Equity||Menomonee Falls, WI|
|I. Charles Rinaldi||Small/Mid Cap Value Equity||New York, NY|
|Robert Costomiris, CFA||Value Equity||Menomonee Falls, WI|
|Thomas Pence, CFA
Erik Voss, CFA
James Leach, CFA
|Fundamental Growth Equity||Indianapolis, IN|
|Thomas Ognar, CFA
Bruce Olson, CFA
Brandon Nelson, CFA
Kevin Gaughan, CFA
|Growth Equity||Menomonee Falls, WI|
|Anthony Cragg||Asia Pacific Equity||Denver, CO|
|Lyle Fitterer, CFA, CPA|
Duane McAllister, CFA
|Municipal Fixed Income||Menomonee Falls, WI|
|Thomas Price, CFA
Jay Mueller, CFA
Janet Rilling, CFA, CPA
W. Frank Koster
|Taxable Fixed Income||Menomonee Falls, WI|
“With the addition of most of the Strong portfolio managers, we’ll be providing our clients an unprecedented range of institutional and retail investment capabilities,” said Kirk Hartman, chief investment officer of Wells Capital Management.
The acquisition includes plans to reorganize the Strong Funds into the Wells Fargo Funds® family in the second quarter of 2005, subject to shareholder approval. The Strong Funds Board of Directors/Trustees and the Wells Fargo Funds Board of Trustees have unanimously approved the reorganization, subject to shareholder approval. “Providing our investors with unmatched client service includes our commitment to offer the best options across a broad spectrum of investment products,” said Wells Fargo Funds president Karla Rabusch. “We believe our expanded fund family will showcase some of the best money management talent in the industry.”
Wells Capital Management, a registered investment adviser and sub-advisor for most Wells Fargo Funds, manages $124 billion in separate account and fund assets for institutional investors, as of June 30, 2004. It is part of Wells Fargo’s Institutional Investment Group, which also includes Wells Fargo Funds, 401(k) and retirement products, institutional bond brokerage, and custody services.
Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, provides investment advisory and administrative services for the Wells Fargo Funds. Other affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company provide sub-advisory and other services for the Funds. The Wells Fargo Funds are distributed by Stephens Inc., Member NYSE/SIPC. Wells Fargo & Company and its affiliates are not affiliated with Stephens Inc. The Strong Funds are distributed by Strong Financial Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary Strong Investments, Inc. Strong Financial Corporation and its affiliates are not affiliated with Stephens Inc.
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $420 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer finance for more than 23 million customers through more than 6,000 stores, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and other distribution channels across North America and elsewhere internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only “Aaa”- rated bank in the United States.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A SOLICITATION FOR PROXY. THE WELLS FARGO FUNDS TRUST AND WELLS FARGO VARIABLE TRUST ("ACQUIRING COMPANIES") HAVE FILED A PROXY STATEMENT-PROSPECTUS WITH THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION ("SEC"). ALL SHAREHOLDERS ARE ADVISED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT-PROSPECTUS IN ITS ENTIRETY WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE, BECAUSE IT WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING THE TRANSACTION, THE PERSONS SOLICITING PROXIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRANSACTION, AND THE INTERESTS OF THESE PERSONS IN THE TRANSACTION AND RELATED MATTERS. THE PROXY STATEMENT-PROSPECTUS WILL BE MAILED TO RECORD DATE SHAREHOLDERS ONCE THE SEC DECLARES SUCH PROXY STATEMENT-PROSPECTUS EFFECTIVE. SHAREHOLDERS MAY OBTAIN A FREE COPY OF THE PROXY STATEMENT-PROSPECTUS, WHEN AVAILABLE, AND OTHER DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC AT THE SEC’S WEBSITE AT HTTP://WWW.SEC.GOV. IN ADDITION TO THE PROXY STATEMENT-PROSPECTUS, THE ACQUIRING COMPANIES AND VARIOUS STRONG REGISTERED INVESTMENT COMPANIES (“TARGET COMPANIES”) MAY FILE ANNUAL, QUARTERLY, AND SPECIAL REPORTS, PROXY STATEMENTS, AND OTHER INFORMATION WITH THE SEC. YOU MAY READ AND COPY ANY REPORTS, STATEMENTS, OR OTHER INFORMATION FILED BY THE ACQUIRING OR TARGET COMPANIES AT THE SEC'S PUBLIC REFERENCE ROOMS AT 450 FIFTH STREET, N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549, AT THE SEC'S REGIONAL OFFICES IN NEW YORK AT 233 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10279, AND IN CHICAGO AT 175 WEST JACKSON BOULEVARD, SUITE 900, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60604. PLEASE CALL THE SEC AT 1-800-SEC-0330 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE PUBLIC REFERENCE ROOMS. FILINGS WITH THE SEC ARE ALSO AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC FROM COMMERCIAL DOCUMENT-RETRIEVAL SERVICES AND AT THE WEB SITE MAINTAINED BY THE SEC AT HTTP://WWW.SEC.GOV.
PARTICIPANTS IN THE SOLICITATION
THE ACQUIRING COMPANIES AND THE TARGET COMPANIES AND THEIR RESPECTIVE INVESTMENT ADVISERS, DIRECTORS/TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS WILL BE SOLICITING PROXIES FROM THE TARGET COMPANIES’ SHAREHOLDERS IN FAVOR OF THE TRANSACTIONS. ANY DIRECT OR INDIRECT INTEREST OF THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE SOLICITATION WILL BE DESCRIBED IN THE PROXY STATEMENT-PROSPECTUS OR IN SUBSEQUENT SOLICITING MATERIALS.
NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE
Please carefully consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in each fund’s current prospectus. For a Wells Fargo Funds prospectus, call 1-800-222-8222 or visit www.wellsfargofunds.com. For a Strong Funds prospectus, call 1-800-368-3863 or visit www.Strong.com. Please read it carefully before you invest or send money.
Strong Financial Corporation® is the parent company of Strong Capital Management, Inc. and Strong Investments, Inc. Strong Capital Management, Inc. is a registered investment advisor. Securities are offered through Strong Investments, Inc., an affiliated company. PR46562 09-04