CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Appleseed Fund (NYSE: APPLX, APPIX), a go-anywhere value mutual fund, has added to its community investment portfolio by purchasing certificates of deposit in Spring Bank, a Bronx, New York-based community bank.
“Where appropriate, we invest a portion of our cash with community development banks and community-based credit unions, which in turn provide high-impact loans to individuals, businesses and nonprofits that are under-served by traditional banks,” explained Josh Strauss, Appleseed Fund portfolio co-manager. “Historically, we’ve held as much as two percent of our portfolio in cash instruments that make a direct, positive impact on local communities.”
The $260 million mutual fund has made similar investments in other community development banks and credit unions such as Beneficial State Bank, Community Bank of the Bay, Self-Help Credit Union and Sunrise Banks.
The approach, according to Strauss, helps Appleseed Fund make an impact with its cash allocation while maintaining competitive returns and liquidity.
In identifying Spring Bank as an investment target, Appleseed Fund supplemented its due diligence efforts with research from National Community Investment Fund (NCIF), a Chicago-based nonprofit private equity trust that invests in banks, thrifts and credit unions nationwide that generate both financial and social returns. NCIF provided Appleseed Fund with a report to evaluate financial institutions’ social performance metrics and key financial indicators.
“Our analyses helped Appleseed Fund identify Spring Bank as a promising purchase for Appleseed Fund’s community investment portfolio, and we are proud to be partnering with them,” said Saurabh Narain, president and CEO of NCIF, which previously provided the Fund with supplemental analysis on Community Bank of the Bay, another Appleseed Fund investment.
“Community development banking moves money in ways that help low-income communities,” said Brian A. Blake, Spring Bank vice president. “Appleseed Fund and NCIF are leading a powerful movement to encourage economic development and financial inclusion.”
About Spring Bank
Founded in 2007, Spring Bank is an FDIC-insured, independent community bank headquartered in the Bronx, New York. The primary mission of the Bank is to provide innovative consumer loans and accessible accounts so that low-wealth customers may benefit from mainstream banking. An SBA Preferred Lending Partner, Spring Bank is equally committed to supporting locally owned businesses through affordable loans, stimulating job growth and the virtuous cycle of economic self-determination.
For the past three years Spring Bank has been the recipient of the U.S. Treasury’s prestigious Bank Enterprise Awards, demonstrating its commitment to sustainable and effective lending in designated persistent poverty areas. In 2014 was the recipient of a major “FA” award to assist in the launch of its innovative Borrow-And-Save small dollar consumer loan.
About National Community Investment Fund
National Community Investment Fund (NCIF) is a nonprofit private equity trust that invests in banks, thrifts and credit unions that generate both financial and social returns. NCIF has total assets under management of $228 million, including $206 million of New Markets Tax Credits. NCIF is the largest investor in mission-oriented CDFI banks that are focused on underserved communities — particularly on low- to moderate-income communities that may be located in urban, rural or Native American markets, and may be minority owned or minority focused. Since its inception in 1996, NCIF has invested over $41.8 million in 55 financial institutions nationwide that have generated over $7 billion in loans in underserved markets nationally.
About Appleseed Fund
Appleseed Fund is a mutual fund with more than $260 million under management that seeks to generate market-beating returns by making prudent, disciplined and sustainable investments in a variety of asset classes around the world. The Fund is managed by Pekin Singer Strauss Asset Management, an SEC registered firm dedicated to value investing. The portfolio co-managers are Josh Strauss, Bill Pekin and Adam Strauss. As of March 31, 2015, the Fund’s top five equity holdings were Samsung Electronics, Yahoo!, Teradata Corp., Mosaic Co. and Adidas. For more information, visit appleseedfund.com.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment in the Fund will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
As of 03/31/2015 Appleseed Fund had the following holdings in its top ten; 005930-KR 4.5%, YHOO 4.4%, TDC 4.0%, MOS 3.9%, ADS.DE 3.6%, OAK 3.6%, AGK 3.5%, WSH 3.5%, VZ 2.9%, 5310-JP 2.9%.
You should carefully consider the investment objectives, potential risks, management fees, and charges and expenses of the Fund before investing. The Fund’s prospectus contains this and other information about the Fund and should be read carefully before investing. You may obtain a current copy of the Fund’s prospectus by calling 1-800-470-1029.
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