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New fund for PMC.

Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Co. Inc. (PMC), an Atlanta-based black-owned investment banking firm, has been chosen as the underwriter and principal distributor for the Atlanta Growth Fund--a new mutual fund comprised prima of the stocks of Atlanta-based companies. The fund, which raised more than $6 million through a public offering, is one of the first to use stocks from a particular city as an investment vehicle. "It proves once again that all things are possible in Atlanta," says Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson. ,Now you can invest in your hometown and help your hometown's companies grow, too."

The fund's managers--Atlanta-based Shapiro Capital Management Co. and Astrop Advisory Corp.--decided to begin the Atlanta Growth Fund because of the enormous number of large corporations located in the Atlanta area. Shapiro Capital Management, which has no experience as a mutual fund manager, provided part of the 250,000 in initial capital to start the fund. Astrop brings 30 years of mutual fund experience to the venture. PMC, which has traded more than $7 billion in government securities, conducted the public offering for the fund.

"We wanted a minority firm because they get locked out of many deals like this," says Joel Shapiro, Atlanta Growth Fund president. "PMC brings a lot of credibility to th e venture."

Michael Lucas, vice president of Pryor, McClendon, Counts, says the fund will choose from more than 400 companies that have offices or regional headquarters in Atlanta. The fund plans to make at least 75% of its investments in the 50 publicly traded Atlanta-based companies that have the highest value (the price of the company's stock, times the number of outstanding shares). The Coca Cola Co., BellSouth Corp. and The Home Depot Inc. have already been targeted by the fund. The remaining 25% of the fund's capital will be invested with Atlanta-based money management firms, companies with a strong presence in Atlanta, such as IBM Corp. or Wal-Mart Corp. and other Georgia-based companies.

"So far we have been swamped. If the initial days after announcing the fund are any indication, [the mutual fund] will be a success," says Lucas. Shares were priced at $10 each (minimum $500 purchase), and investments carry a sales commission. Ten percent of the fund manager's fees are earmarked for nonpolitical Atlanta charities.

Joel Shapiro, Atlanta Growth Fund president, says, "Atlanta has consistently been recognized for its business growth potential. We hope this proves to be an attractive investment vehicle for investors and for the city."
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Title Annotation:Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Company Inc.
Author:Yancey, Wanda R.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Sep 1, 1992
Words:411
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