Northern Funds is seeking to merge two of its equity funds into similar existing portfolios, according to an SEC filing dated February 24.

Specifically, the company is planning to fold the $4-million Northern Global Communications Fund (NOGCX) into the $288-million Northern Technology Fund (NTCHX).

The Technology fund is co-managed by George J. Gilbert and John Leo. Leo is the sole manager of the Global Communications fund, launched in May 2000.

Also, the $48-million Northern International Select Equity Fund (NINEX), launched in April 1994, will be reorganized into the $203-million Northern International Growth Equity Fund (NOIGX). Both these funds are co-managed by Richard F. Rothwell and Diane Jones.

“The funds involved have very similar investment objectives and strategies, and it makes sense for management reasons to combine them,” commented a Northern Funds spokesman.

For the 12-month period ended Jan. 31, 2003, the Global Communications fund plunged 36.8%, while the International Select Equity fund dropped 17.6%.

The proposed reorganizations are expected to occur during the first half of 2003. As a result, the number of equity funds at Northern will fall to 12 from 14.