Hedged Mutual Fund Product for 401(k) Plans Released

April 5, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Lake Partners and The Newport Group have jointly announced the launch of a product that allows 401(k) plan participants to have access to hedge fund strategies.

The collective investment fund being offered is comprised entirely of registered hedged mutual funds, which can both long and short-sell equities to provide a buffer in down markets. The fund is available for purchase to qualified retirement plans.

The LASSO Fund, as it is called, is a bank collective trust under the trusteeship of SEI Trust Company which combines alternative investment strategies with the features of daily-valued unitized commingled funds such as mutual funds, according to the companies. The program utilizes a selected group of mutual funds that primarily invest long and short in equities or use hedging strategies.

LASSO may be purchased by participant-directed DC plans that are valued daily, as well as DB and government plans. LASSO is traded through the NSCCs Fund/SERV system, and is currently available through Schwab Trust Company.

The Newport Group ( www.newportgroup.com )is a provider of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, while Lake Partners ( www.lakevest.com ) is an investment consulting company specializing in hedge funds.