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Mutual Fund News

Norrep eyes smaller firms, bigger rewards

rcarrick@globeandmail.com

What we're looking at

This week features Round Two of a series on mutual fund families you may not have heard of, but are worth knowing about. The first round was published Sept. 28-Oct. 1 and you can read it here: http://tgam.ca/u1e.

Our screen

Today's fund family is Norrep, a small group of funds run by Hesperian Capital Management of Calgary and Toronto.

The funds presented here are ranked by assets. To assess their performance, we've presented their quartile rankings over various periods. Quartiles divide funds in a category in four groupings; a ranking in the first and second quartiles is what you want to see as an investor.

What we found

Norrep is a boutique fund firm specializing in small-size companies, which offer higher risks but also greater potential rewards than blue chips. Small companies are an area where active management - stocks are chosen by money managers instead of using an index-tracking approach - has proven especially effective.

Unfortunately, the flagship Norrep Fund was closed to new investment back in 2005. With $92-million in assets, the fund is comparatively small. But the people who run Norrep fund believe in capping a fund as soon as it threatens to get too big for the manager to run it effectively.

This brings us to Norrep II, which has an identical investment mandate and style as the Norrep Fund. This fund did not have a good 2008 - it lost just a little over half its value - but it has averaged 17.3 per cent annually since it opened in October, 2001.

Norrep fees are in line with other funds in the Canadian small- or mid-cap category; Norrep Resource Class's mountainous MER includes a performance fee. The minimum upfront purchase for Norrep funds is $5,000 or $20,000, and the funds are not available in Quebec or the territories.

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NORREP INC.

Fund NameAsset Category(As of Oct. 31) Assets ($-mil)Latest MERQuartile 1 YearQuartile 3 YearsQuartile 5 YearsQuartile 10 Years
Norrep II Class-ACanadian Small or Mid Cap Equity171.302.58243n/a
Norrep FundCanadian Small or Mid Cap Equity91.642.492311
Norrep Resource ClassNatural Resources Equity43.337.083n/an/an/a
Norrep Q Class-ACanadian Equity41.852.64144n/a
Norrep Global Class-AGlobal Small/Mid Cap Equity37.992.6623n/an/a
Norrep Income Growth Class-ACanadian Income Trust Equity39.602.1613n/an/a
Norrep Yield-AHigh Yield Fixed Income11.463.272n/an/an/a
Norrep US Class-AU.S. Small or Mid Cap Equity5.942.6522n/an/a
Source: Globeinvestor.com

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