Access Capital Strategies, a pioneer in the development of a high credit quality nationwide community investment vehicle, announced it has received regulatory approval to open the $500 million Access Capital Strategies Community Investment Fund (the Fund) [XACSX] to all investors.
The Company also announced that Voyageur Asset Management, a Minneapolis-based firm specializing in fixed income and equity portfolio management, has been named as the new sub-advisor to the Fund.
The Fund, previously operated as a private placement investment principally for banks and other investors, has changed its status to a continuously offered, closed-end interval fund under the Investment Company Act of 1940.
Beginning immediately, institutional and retail investors can simply contact the Fund’s transfer agent directly or through a registered broker to make an investment. The new minimum initial investment is $25,000, with sales fees waived on investments of $1 million and above.
The Fund, which commenced in June 1998, provides a unique double bottom line return by investing in targeted debt securities that support economic development activities in communities chosen by its investors.
The targeted mortgage backed securities structured for purchase by the Fund are usually guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae. Unlike securities created from the pooling of sub-prime mortgage loans, these guaranteed mortgage backed securities are derived from prime or FHA insured mortgage lending activities that increase the availability of these lower cost mortgages to a wider range of low- and moderate-income borrowers.
Since its inception, the Fund has purchased securities made from loans that have provided financing for more than 8,000 low- and moderate-income homebuyers, project loans for 4,400 affordable rental housing units, loans to 145 small businesses, and more than 10 other economic development projects. The Fund has a portfolio of community investments in 45 states and territories.
The mission of the Fund is to invest in debt securities that support community development serving low- and moderate-income individuals and communities across the U.S. These activities include investments in home ownership, affordable housing, education, community health centers and small businesses. Current investors include banks, corporations, insurers, foundations and public pension funds.
Ronald A. Homer, Access Capital’s chief executive officer, said, "The new openness of the Fund means that individuals, along with more commercial banks, pension funds, corporations, charitable endowments, trust funds, and insurance companies, can merge their financial and social investing goals into the same package. Recent concerns regarding the sub-prime mortgage market heighten the need for initiatives that will expand the reach of the prime mortgage market in low- and moderate-income communities."
Timothy P. Cahill, Massachusetts state Treasurer and chairman of the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) board, has consistently recognized Access Capital for its strong track record and commitment to underserved individuals and businesses.
PRIM is a pooled investment fund established in 1984 to invest the assets of the Massachusetts State Teachers’ and Employees’ Retirement Systems and the assets of certain county, authority, district and municipal retirement systems. In 2004, PRIM made an initial investment of $25 million in the Fund. The following year, the pension fund invested an additional $50 million.
Treasurer Cahill said, "Our experience with Access Capital shows that solid investment returns can work hand-in-hand with social responsibility. What I like about this fund is its ability to target investments by income and region. The beneficiaries of this investment strategy are the people of Massachusetts who need it the most."
Via: (Access Capital Strategies)