NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lazard Asset Management (LAM) today announced that it has hired a real estate investment team, effective immediately. The Global Real Estate Securities team joins from Grubb & Ellis Alesco Global Advisors, and is based in LAM’s San Francisco office.
LAM’s Global Real Estate Securities team, led by Portfolio Managers/Analysts Jay Leupp and David Ronco, will manage U.S., international and global real estate investment strategies. Christopher Hartung, Director and Client Portfolio Manager, will focus on investment strategy and research, and Kipp Kjeldgaard, Senior Vice President and Client Portfolio Manager, will focus on client service and business development.
“Our new Global Real Estate Securities team includes seasoned professionals with deep experience in real estate analysis and investing,” said Ashish Bhutani, Chief Executive Officer of LAM. “By adding this team to our firm and a real estate investment offering to our platform, we’re able to further our goal of providing diverse and superior investment solutions to our clients.”
The U.S. and international strategies are available as mutual funds: the Lazard U.S. Realty Income Portfolio (NASDAQ: LRIIX, LRIOX), which was awarded a 5-Star Overall Morningstar Rating™ among the 229 funds in the Real Estate category for the three-year period ended September 30, 2011; the Lazard U.S. Realty Equity Portfolio (NASDAQ: LREIX, LREOX); and the Lazard International Realty Equity Portfolio (NASDAQ: LITIX, LITOX). Mr. Leupp and Mr. Ronco launched the Grubb & Ellis AGA Mutual Funds in 2008 and have managed them since inception. These funds together with the assets of Grubb & Ellis AGA were acquired by LAM from Grubb & Ellis Company pursuant to a definitive agreement dated June 10, 2011.
Mr. Leupp founded Alesco Global Advisors in 2006 as President and Chief Executive Officer and was the senior portfolio manager of Alesco’s real estate mutual funds. He was previously a real estate equity research analyst for 12 years, first at Robertson Stephens & Co. and then at RBC Capital Markets. Earlier in his career, Mr. Leupp worked at the Staubach Company.
Mr. Ronco joined Alesco Global Advisors in 2006 and was a portfolio manager for the firm’s real estate mutual funds. Prior to Alesco, Mr. Ronco worked at Robertson Stephens & Co. and RBC Capital Markets specializing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).
An indirect subsidiary of Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ), Lazard Asset Management LLC (LAM), the Funds’ investment manager, offers a range of equity, fixed-income, and alternative investment products worldwide. As of June 30, 2011, LAM and affiliated asset management companies in the Lazard Group managed $161.6 billion worth of client assets. For more information about LAM, please go to www.Lazardnet.com.
Lazard, one of the world’s preeminent financial advisory and asset management firms, operates from 42 cities across 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. With origins dating back to 1848, the firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, strategic matters, restructuring and capital structure, capital raising and corporate finance, as well as asset management services to corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments and individuals. For more information on Lazard, please visit www.lazard.com.
Please consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. For more complete information about The Lazard Funds, Inc. and current performance, you may obtain a prospectus or summary prospectus by calling 800-823-6300 or by going to www.LazardNet.com. Read the prospectus or summary prospectus carefully before you invest. The prospectus and summary prospectus contain investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information about the Portfolio(s) and The Lazard Funds, Inc. that may not be detailed in this document. Distributed by Lazard Asset Management Securities LLC.
The performance of investments in real estate and real estate related securities may be determined to a great extent by the current status of the real estate industry in general, or by other factors (such as interest rates and the availability of loan capital) that may affect the real estate industry, even if other industries would not be so affected. The risks related to investments in realty companies include, but are not limited to: adverse changes in general economic and local market conditions; adverse developments in employment; changes in supply or demand for similar or competing properties; unfavorable changes in applicable taxes, governmental regulations and interest rates; operating or development expenses; and lack of available financing. An investment in REITs may be affected or lost if the REIT fails to comply with applicable laws and regulations, including tax regulations, specifically, the failure to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
Fixed income and preferred securities are subject to credit risk, interest rate risk and call and reinvestment risk. A Portfolio’s investments in lower-rated, higher-yielding securities are subject to greater credit risk than its higher-rated investments. Junk bonds tend to be more volatile, less liquid and are considered speculative and a Portfolio may not be able to sell certain securities at the time and price it would like.
Non-domestic securities carry special risks, such as exposure to currency fluctuations, less developed or less efficient trading markets, political instability, a lack of company information, differing auditing and legal standards, and, potentially, less liquidity. A Portfolio may invest in a smaller number of issuers than other, more diversified, investment portfolios, and therefore the Portfolios’ net asset value may be more vulnerable to changes in the market value of a single issuer or group of issuers and may be relatively more susceptible to adverse effects from any single corporate, industry, economic, market, political or regulatory occurrence.
Derivatives transactions may cause a Portfolio to experience losses greater than if the Portfolio had not engaged in such transactions. Investments in derivatives are subject to many of the risks of, and can be highly sensitive to changes in the value of, the related security or index. As such, a small commitment to derivatives could potentially have a relatively large impact on a Portfolio’s performance.
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For each fund with at least a three-year history, Morningstar calculates a Morningstar Rating based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a fund’s monthly performance (including the effects of sales charges, loads, and redemption fees), placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of funds in each category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. (Each share class is counted as a fraction of one fund within this scale and rated separately, which may cause slight variations in the distribution percentages.) The Overall Morningstar Rating for a fund is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five- and ten-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. The Lazard U.S. Realty Income Portfolio was rated against 229 U.S.-domiciled real estate funds over the last three years ended September 30, 2011 in the Real Estate category. The Lazard U.S. Realty Income Portfolio received a Morningstar Rating of 5 stars for the three-year period. Past performance does not guarantee future results.