Citizens Funds, a family of socially and environmentally responsible mutual funds, will acquire the assets of Meyers Pride Value Fund, a socially responsible mutual fund, from Meyers Capital Management, the company announced today.

The Meyers Pride Value Fund will become the Citizens Value Fund later this fall, contigent on shareholder approval. The fund will become the first value offering from the Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based firm. Through the merger, Citizens will inherit Meyers' performance and five-star Morningstar rating. The deal is not unique in the socially conscious investing world; last August, the Calvert Group performed a similar maneuver, snagging five stars by merging the Bridgeway Social Responsibility Portfolio into its Large Cap Growth Fund. Shelley Meyers, president of Meyers Capital Management, will be portfolio manager for the Value Fund, with her firm acting as sub-advisor, and has committed to co-marketing the new fund. The new fund will retain Meyers' original social screen, which selects firms that have instituted gay and lesbian anti-discrimination policies. In addition, however, Citizens will contribute its own social screens, which will broaden the fund's potential market, especially in the institutional area. The Meyers fund, which currently has $15 million in assets, will benefit from Citizens' broader distribution network and wholesaling force. While Meyers asserts that low assets under management did not drive her to sell the fund, she expects it to grow under Citizens' care and feeding. 'We are already in the same distribution channels, but they have far more of a wholesaling infrastructure to sell the funds,' said Meyers. 'We don't think this is going to be a $15 million fund for long.' Citizens, with six growth funds, a money market, and an income fund in its lineup, will fill a gap with the acquisition. 'Timing was everything, said Val Dingle, vice president of marketing at Citizens. [Meyers] was looking for additional distribution and we were looking for a value offering.”

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