Causeway Capital Management, the Los Angeles-based firm launched in June by three former Merrill Lynch portfolio managers, is planning to offer its first mutual fund. The company filed a preliminary prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday for the Causeway International Value Fund, which it plans to launch by the end of the year, according to a spokesman for the company.

In June, Sarah Ketterer, Harry Hartford and James Doyle left Mercury Asset Management Advisors, formerly known as Hotchkis & Wiley, a small asset manager acquired by Merrill Lynch in 1996, to start Causeway. The firm now employs approximately 18 people, according to the spokesman.

Before leaving Merrill, the three managers had managed the then $1.4 billion Mercury HW International Value Fund, a fund similar to the one Causeway is planning to launch. They also managed about $1.8 billion in assets in institutional accounts.

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