WELLS FARGO TO EXPAND MUTUAL FUND LINE-UP WITH PURCHASE OF SIFE
SAN FRANCISCO — August 30, 2001
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) and SIFE today announced they have signed a definitive agreement for Wells Fargo to purchase SIFE. SIFE is the advisor, administrator and distributor of the SIFE Trust Fund. The SIFE Trust Fund has a long and distinguished history of serving its shareholders by investing in the financial services sector. It will become the Wells Fargo SIFE Specialized Financial Services Fund, with Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC as advisor and administrator.
The SIFE Trust Fund has $789 million in assets under management and 23,400 investor accounts as of July 31, 2001. Wells Fargo and SIFE expect the acquisition will be completed by first calendar quarter 2002. Completion of the acquisition is subject to SIFE Trust Fund shareholder approval to merge the SIFE Trust Fund into the Wells Fargo Funds family of mutual funds. Specific terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited about the opportunity to expand our fund line-up into the financial services sector," said Mike Hogan, who leads Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC. "SIFE brings with it a 39-year track record of serving its clients' investment needs, solid investment returns, and an excellent industry reputation. In addition, distribution of the entire Wells Fargo Funds family will be broadened as we begin to work closely with the 300 investment professionals who currently offer the SIFE Trust Fund to their clients, " said Hogan.
"By integrating SIFE's strong investment team into Wells Fargo's largest investment division, Wells Capital Management, we broaden our expertise within the financial services sector," said Mike Niedermeyer, executive vice president of Wells Fargo's Investment Management Group. "This will be a benefit to many of the current clients served by Wells Capital Management. Plus, we believe SIFE Trust Fund clients also will benefit from the integration of the current SIFE team into Wells Capital Management's distinguished and solid investment management practice."
John King, President and CEO of SIFE, the management company for SIFE Trust Fund, said, "In selecting a partner firm, we needed to ensure that superior servicing of our clients' financial needs, the foundation for our success, would continue. Wells Fargo enthusiastically shares our service vision. Our mutual interest in this commitment was the primary reason that we felt this to be an outstanding fit for investors of both fund groups. For a number of years SIFE's investors and the financial professionals with whom we work have told us that they were interested in a greater breadth of investment options. I am confident that those associated with SIFE will be as excited and enthusiastic as I am about the broad diversification opportunities and other benefits that will accrue from this merger."
About Wells Fargo Funds
The Wells Fargo SIFE Specialized Financial Services Fund will join the family of 79 mutual funds managed by Wells Fargo Funds Management, LLC. With over $71 billion in assets under management, as of July 31, 2001, Wells Fargo Funds has become one of the nation's largest fund families. It is part of the Investment Management Group of activities at Wells Fargo which also include Wells Capital Management, Galliard Capital Management and Wells Fargo's 401(k) 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 subadvisory and other services for the Funds. The Funds are distributed by Stephens Inc., Member NYSE/SIPC. Wells Fargo & Company and its affiliates are not affiliated with Stephens Inc. For more complete information about the Wells Fargo Funds, including risks, fees and expenses, obtain a prospectus by calling 1-800-222-8222. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.