John Nuveen & Co., a Chicago-based mutual fund company best known for tax-free bond investments, is expanding into equity funds.

Nuveen said Tuesday that it will launch three equity funds by fall in conjunction with Institutional Capital Corp., also of Chicago.

Fixed-income specialists like Nuveen have been left in the cold as share prices of mutual fund management companies have heated up in recent months.

"The lack of a diversified product has hurt them. Their stock has gotten beaten," said Bruce Brewlington, an analyst at Putnam Lovell Thornton, San Francisco. Nuveen's common shares closed Tuesday at $25.125, up 62.5 cents.

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