From the December 2007 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

Lord Abbett's New Shares

Lord, Abbett & Company has introduced three new share classes for several of its mutual funds: F, R2 and R3. Also, the firm has reclassified Y shares as I shares.

The reason for the changes, according to Steve Lipper, director of retirement marketing, is to reach more investment platforms like wrap programs and retirement plans. "Lord Abbett expects these changes will provide investors and advisors with greater choice, encouraging a broader distribution of the firm's mutual funds," Lipper says.

Class F shares will be offered in connection with fee-based and advisory programs and R shares to certain retirement plans, while Class Y shares are now offered as Class I shares to conform to the common industry terminology for institutional shares.

"As more advisors are looking to the 401(k) market as a growing market with the shrinking of defined-benefit plans and other opportunities, the pricing that we had was missing some brokers and advisors serving the [mid-level 401(k)] market," explains Lipper.

"We want to bring more options to the market we are already in, the wirehouses and super-regionals, and new options to firms like LPL, with whom we have a new relationship," he adds. Lord Abbett is one of a number of sponsors participating in a series of regional 401(k) training meetings across Smith Barney, for instance.

"We are absolutely transparent about our pricing," Lipper says. The two R-share classes pay 50 basis points as a trailing commission, the R2, and 60 basis points, the R3.

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Janet Levaux is the managing editor of Research; reach her at jlevaux@researchmag.com.

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