Franklin Templeton investments has introduced Mutual shares II, a Dublin-based Ucits that invests mainly in the US.
The fund is a mirror fund of the US-registered mutual shares fund, which was established in July 1949. It aims for capital growth by looking for companies with share prices that are undervalued.
The fund manager, Susan Potto, will try to find companies across industrial sectors that are trading at a lower value than she feels they are worth. This will be the main focus of the fund, but opportunities will also be sought in companies that are involved in events such as mergers and bankruptcies.
Potto, who also runs the Franklin Mutual beacon fund, joined Franklin Templeton in 1997. She will run the new fund from New Jersey on a bottom-up basis, examining each company on their own merits. Although the fund will be benchmarked against the S&P 500, Potto will not be curbed by sector weightings or factors such as the company's size or earnings.
The offshore base might mean the fund has limited appeal for UK investors, who tend to prefer onshore funds and who may be put off by this fund's search for extreme value. However, the experience of the fund manager works in its favour.
According to Standard & Poor's, the Franklin mutual beacon fund is ranked 5 out of 84 funds based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with gross income reinvested over one year to January 21, 2002.