A specialized private equity unit of BankBoston Corp. has staked $250,000 on a local asset management firm that caters to gay and lesbian investors.

BankBoston Development Co. said its investment in Meyers Capital Management will provide capital to market the Meyers Pride Value Fund, which invests in companies that have explicit anti-discrimination policies covering gay and lesbian employees.

The Pride Value Fund focuses on undervalued large-capitalization companies with strong fundamentals. Its holdings include AMR Corp., Sun Microsystems, Sears, Roebuck and Co., and Amgen Inc.

For the year ended March 31, its total return equaled 31.48%.

BankBoston Development, formed last year, provides equity investments to minority, women-owned, and low-to-moderate income area businesses.

To date, it has committed $6.3 million in equity investments and $3.8 million in debt to more than 275 businesses, and another $48 million to create affordable housing.

Ira Jackson, executive vice president of BankBoston Corp. and chairman of the development company, said he saw the investment in Meyers Capital as "not only a great business opportunity, but a platform to send a message to other companies that diversity in the workplace is essential for success."

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