Follows Other Publications in Requiring $50 Million in Assets

The New York Times has changed the criteria for including daily mutual fund prices as of this past Tuesday, according to the Investment Company Institute. Funds must now have $50 million in assets to be listed in the paper.

The change at the Times follows that of two other news publications earlier this year. In April, The Wall Street Journal raised its minimum assets for price listing to $50 million from $25 million, which eliminated 3,100 fund listings. Barron's changed its minimum to $50 million last month.

'This is something that is really changing the landscape of the industry,' said Ann Becker, president of Thompson Becker International, a financial services public relations firm. 'The daily charts are a key point of visibility for funds. When your performance is good, especially for a smaller funds, having that appear in the daily tables is critical. You want your shareholders to be able to open the paper and see your fund.'

Appearing in the daily listings of the major publications is important enough for funds that the recent changes may prompt them to merge funds, according to Becker. Some firms may aggregate the assets of more than one fund to lift the total assets over the new $50 million mark, she said.

The marketing options for small funds that are eliminated from the charts are very limited, according to Becker. 'The daily listings are such a critical visibility point for smaller funds, especially because its free,' she said. 'General media advertising is so expensive, funds will have to turn more to Web advertising, direct mail marketing, public relations, and increased sales forces.'

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