New York Life Investment Management has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch the Mainstay Floating Rate Fund, while Nuveen Investments also has in the works a public offering of a closed-end exchange-traded fund investing in loans.
Floating-rate funds have caught on among retail investors with firms such as Eaton Vance and Merrill Lynch raising a total of $900 million of assets in their offerings last year (LMW, 12/2). Bank loan, or floating-rate, funds gained a 10.4% return in 2003, according to Morningstar. "It's the best annual return since we started tracking the group in 1990," said Scott Berry, a Morningstar analyst.
NYLIM's Tony Malloy and Robert Dial will manage the fund. Nancy Paris, spokeswoman, confirmed the filing but could not provide details. The fund will invest 80% of its assets in a diversified portfolio of floating-rate loans and other floating-rate debt securities, according to the filing.
The Nuveen fund, planned for March 2004, is called the Nuveen Floating Rate Income Fund, according to a statement from the manager. Portfolio managers from Nuveen's Symphony Asset Management team will manage the fund. A Nuveen spokeswoman declined comment as the fund is in a quiet period. The Symphony unit is also raising two bank loan funds that short loans as part of the strategy (LMW, 2/9).