William Blair & Company LLC of Chicago simultaneously will offer its mutual funds both no load and with a sales charge, a rare occurrence in the mutual fund industry.

The firm, which historically has sold its funds without a sales charge, expected to introduce share classes that include front-end, back-end and level-load sales charges on Oct. 1, said Marco Hanig, president of William Blair Mutual Funds, last week. The move is part of a restructuring in which the firm plans to focus attention on generating fund sales through intermediaries, Hanig said. William Blair, which currently has approximately $2.2 billion in six funds and about $12 billion in overall assets under management, wants to provide investors with alternative ways to purchase William Blair funds, Hanig said.

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