AIM Capital Management, Houston, recently wrapped up a road show to publicize to brokers its international and global mutual funds.
A group of portfolio managers focused on the company's European Development Fund and its Asian Growth Fund, two aggressive-growth vehicles that were introduced in November.
The drive to get brokers thinking about investing abroad comes as AIM's parent company, Amvescap PLC, is buying LGT Asset Management, the parent of GT Global.
San Francisco-based GT is a fund company known for picking stocks around the globe.
It was too early to talk up GT Global's funds, but spreading the gospel of foreign investing can only help GT, said Ivy McLemore, an AIM spokesman.
The two weeklong trips in February mainly targeted wirehouse brokers and financial planners, but the company intends to talk up the funds to bank brokers as well through seminars in Houston, the managers said.
Making their pitch in major cities on the East and Eest coasts as well as a few in middle America, the managers argued that it is important for investors to be diversified into foreign stocks, and that now is a good time to get in because there are bargains to be found.
"We're building positions in markets that have been sold off considerably," said Barrett Sides, a portfolio manager in the Asian fund. While 1998 promises to be a volatile year for Asian economies much of the region should rebound in 1999, he said. Some countries will do better than others, he said.
"It's not fair to lump all of Asia together," he said.
Southeast Asia is not a well region, but there are good investment opportunities in India, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, he said.
Three-quarters of the Asian Growth Fund's $6.2 million of assets are in countries outside Southeast Asia, he said.
In Europe, corporate spinoffs and restructuring, privatization, and deregulation are creating good investment opportunities, said Clas Olsson, portfolio manager for the European Development Fund.
The European Development Fund has $11.5 million of assets so far, he said. The new funds give the company a growing array of funds that invest abroad, including its International, Global Aggressive, and Global Growth Funds. Altogether, AIM has $10 billion in international and global funds.
Louis Harvey, president of Boston-based fund consultant Dalbar Inc., said the timing could not be better for such a publicity campaign.
"I expect that the trend toward international investing is going to develop over the next six to nine months," he said. "Those who put their face on the map earlier are the ones who will be well-received as leaders in that marketplace as we go forward." So far this year, the European fund has returned about 23%, and the Asian fund has returned 11%, the company said.
Invesco Inc., AIM's Atlanta-based sister company, is providing on- location advice about stock picks for AIM. AIM and Invesco are subsidiaries of Amvescap, which was formed last year when Invesco bought AIM.
Invesco is known for its business outside the United States, while AIM is known more for its domestic funds.
Amvescap expects to complete the GT Global acquisition by May 31, Mr. McLemore said.