Like Frankenstein and his monster, RREEF America of Chicago is bringing a mutual fund back to life. The money manager is bringing out a twin of one of its old real estate funds even though it merged a similar fund with American Century Investments of Kansas City, Mo. two years ago.

RREEF is sub-adviser to the American Century Real Estate Fund, a retail and institutional fund that the $25 million RREEF Real Estate Securities Fund merged with on June 13, 1997, three days before shares of the American Century Fund were offered to the public.

The newly registered RREEF Rreal (sic) Estate Securities Fund, a remake, is going to be managed in the same style as the American Century fund, and it is citing the performance record of the American Century fund in its prospectus.

Both RREEF and American Century officials declined to talk about the proposed clone fund and whether RREEF would be allowed to keep its sub-advisory role if it creates a clone fund, even though only the American Century fund will sell to both retail and institutional investors. The two portfolio managers of the American Century Real Estate Fund are the same ones that RREEF plans to have mange the RREEF Rreal Estate Securities Fund, according to the registration statement for the new fund.

The RREEF real estate fund was merged with the American Century Real Estate Fund in June 1997 in order to broaden distribution and to take advantage of the transfer agency capabilities of American Century after its inception in September, 1995. RREEF America continued in a sub-advisory capacity and earned a portion of the management fees under that arrangement. The fund had $137 million in assets under management in retail, advisor and institutional shares, according to the 1999 annual report released in March.

In 1996, the first full year of the RREEF Real Estate Securities Fund, the fund returned 40.81 percent compared to the Wilshire REIT Index, which returned 37 percent. In 1997, the fund returned 25.21 percent, while the Wilshire returned 19.6 percent. In 1998, the fund lost 18 percent and the Wilshire lost 17 percent.

Now, RREEF is planning to manage its own fund again, which it expects to start selling to institutional clients on Nov. 30, according to a registration statement filed with the SEC Sept. 21.

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