Fidelity Investments and Stein Roe Mutual Funds, both of Boston, and Ariel Mutual Funds of Chicago were recently cited for the excellence of their communications by the Mutual Fund Education Alliance of Kansas City, Mo. The alliance announced these honors as part of its third annual awards for excellence in shareholder communications.

The top awards for overall excellence in communications were given to Fidelity Investments, in the category of large mutual fund company with $20 billion or more in assets; Stein Roe, in the category of medium company with $3 billion to $20 billion in assets; and Ariel, in the small company category with $3 billion or less in assets.

Communications is particularly critical for no-load companies that have no direct contact with investors, said Michelle Smith, managing director of the alliance.

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