CHICAGO, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Harris Associates L.P., Adviser to The Oakmark Family of Funds, announced today that The Oakmark International Fund and The Oakmark Global Fund will close to certain broker-dealers and third- party intermediaries effective as of the close of business on Monday, December 15, 2003. This change will affect new investors only; existing shareholders of the Funds may continue to purchase additional shares. In addition, the Funds will remain open to new participants of existing retirement plans held through intermediaries, and financial advisors with existing positions may also continue to purchase shares. Other interested investors may open new accounts by purchasing shares directly from Oakmark. "As a result of the Funds' strong performance and significant cash inflows, we are limiting the number of new investors. Slowing asset growth allows us to maintain our investment flexibility," states John Raitt, President and CEO of Harris Associates L.P. "Our decision is consistent with steps we've taken in the past regarding asset growth in other Funds in our family." "This change helps us protect existing shareholders as assets grow," says David Herro, portfolio manager of Oakmark International. "We are comfortable with the current level of assets in the Funds, and appreciate the confidence our shareholders have in us." Separately, as of the end of January 2004, The Oakmark Fund and The Oakmark Equity and Income Fund will impose a 2% redemption fee on shares held 90 days or less -- the same fee as that imposed on the other five Oakmark Funds in August 1999. "While we had not imposed a redemption fee on these two funds because they are less susceptible to successful market timing, this change makes our redemption fee policy consistent across our fund family, and we believe it is in the best interest of our long-term shareholders," says Raitt. When newly issued shares of any Oakmark Funds are sold within 90 days of purchase, 2% of the proceeds will be paid back to the funds in the form of a redemption fee. Shares held longer than 90 days will not be charged this fee. The goal of a redemption fee at Oakmark is two-fold. First, a redemption fee makes the funds less attractive to frequent traders who may disrupt the daily management of the funds. Second, a redemption fee charges short-term holders directly for the costs they impose upon the funds and long-term shareholders. ABOUT THE OAKMARK INTERNATIONAL AND GLOBAL FUNDS: Oakmark International, which was started in September 1992, is a diversified portfolio of undervalued mid- and large-size international companies. Oakmark Global is an all-cap Fund investing in companies around the world including the U.S. Both Funds utilize the same disciplined value investment approach. The Oakmark International Fund, up 29.84% year-to-date through November 30, returned 29.97% for the 1-year period ending September 30, 2003, 13.21% annually for the 5-year period, and 10.62% annually since its inception on September 30, 1992. Oakmark International had total assets of approximately $3.1 billion as of October 31. The Oakmark Global Fund, up 41.95% year-to-date through November 30, returned 50.27% for the 1-year period ending September 30, 2003, and 14.83% since inception on August 4, 1999. The Global Fund had total assets over $905 million as of October 31. THE OAKMARK FUNDS INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY: Each Oakmark fund abides by the same disciplined value philosophy and process: to invest in companies the portfolio managers believe are trading at significant discounts to underlying business value, with companies that grow value over time, and that have shareholder-oriented management teams. ABOUT THE PORTFOLIO MANAGERS: David Herro is a co-portfolio manager of Oakmark International and Oakmark International Small Cap Funds, and is Chief Investment Officer of International Equities at Harris Associates. David has been managing international portfolios since 1986, previously managing a $700 million international portfolio for The State of Wisconsin Investment Board. He also served as a Portfolio Manager for international equity portfolios with The Principal Financial Group of Des Moines, Iowa. David, who joined Harris Associates in 1992, has a M.A. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (1985) and a B.S. in Business/Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (1983). He has over eighteen years of investment experience, is a CFA charterholder, and is a member of the Financial Analysts Federation. Clyde McGregor co-manages the Oakmark Equity and Income and Oakmark Global Funds, in addition to separate accounts for Harris Associates. Prior to joining Harris Associates in 1981, he was an analyst and portfolio manager with The Northern Trust Company. Clyde has a M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1977) and a B.A. in Economics and Religion from Oberlin College (1974). He has over twenty-five years of investment experience and is a CFA charterholder. Michael Welsh is a co-portfolio manager for Oakmark International, Oakmark International Small Cap, and Oakmark Global Funds, and is Director of International Research for Harris Associates. Prior to joining Harris Associates in 1992, Michael was a Senior Associate with Coopers & Lybrand in their Valuation Services group and a Valuation Services Consultant with Price Waterhouse. He has a M.B.A. in Finance from Northwestern University (1993) and a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Kansas (1985). Michael has sixteen years of investment experience. He is a CFA charterholder and holds the distinctions of Certified Public Accountant. ABOUT HARRIS ASSOCIATES L.P.: Harris Associates L. P., a Chicago-based investment management firm founded in 1976, serves as the Adviser to The Oakmark Family of Funds and manages separate accounts for institutional and high net worth investors. Harris Associates' total assets under management were over $41 billion as of October 31, 2003. The Oakmark Funds are distributed by Harris Associates Securities L. P., member NASD. For more information including management fees and expenses and the special risks of investing in the funds, visit www.oakmark.com or call 1-800-OAKMARK for a prospectus, which should be read carefully before investing.
SOURCE Harris Associates L.P.