On November 4, not only did AIM Management of Houston, Texas officially close its doors to new investors of the nearly $500 million AIM Small-Cap Opportunities Fund, but it also threw a sale for existing shareholders. As a direct result of the fund's closing, AIM cut the fund's 12b-1 distribution fee to 0.25 percent from 0.35 percent on its A class of shares. AIM appears to be among the few, if not the sole, fund group to cut its 12b-1 fee upon closing.

Closing a fund, especially a small-cap fund, is not unusual in itself. Often small- cap managers find themselves with excess cash to invest and a dearth of choices within the small company universe. Many choose to limit new investments by closing the doors, at least temporarily. But AIM, with a total of $120 billion under management, went one step further by trimming the distribution fee which funds generally use to pay for advertising, marketing or to compensate the financial intermediaries who sell and service new and existing accounts.

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