M&T Bankshares has added an equity mutual fund to its proprietary Vision Funds family and plans a second this summer.

Buffalo-based M&T began selling the Vision Large Cap Growth Fund on March 16. The fund invests in 30 to 40 established large-cap companies that have a history of earnings growth and the potential to do well during a market downturn.

The Large Cap Growth Fund is subadvised by Atlanta-based Montag & Caldwell Inc.

M&T said it will open the Vision Large Cap Core Fund to investors by the end of the summer. The Large Cap Core Fund is to invest in companies with a market capitalization of at least $10 billion using a blend of growth and value strategies.

William F. Dwyer, a senior vice president and chief investment adviser of M&T's investment arm, said the long bull market had made it possible to invest in a number of companies that otherwise would have fallen outside the funds' valuation guidelines.

Since the funds are relatively conservative and do not invest heavily in technology companies or those without a proven track record, they are appealing to customers who are afraid of stock market volatility, Mr. Dwyer said.

The Large Cap Growth Fund already has about $5 million to $10 million of assets under management. Mr. Dwyer said he expects each fund to attract $50 million to $100 million of assets by yearend.

The Vision Funds comprise seven portfolios and manage $2 billion of assets. They are sold through M&T Bank and its brokerage subsidiary.

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