Hoping to reach new investors, J.P. Morgan & Co. is making its portfolios of small companies' stocks accessible to investors outside its traditional upper-crust clientele.

The JPM Pierpont U.S. Small Company Opportunities Fund was made available in June and has $20 million under management. The new Morgan fund focuses on stocks tracked by the Russell 2500 index of companies, which have an average market capitalization of $659 million.

Though Morgan has invested client assets in small cap stocks since 1964, the new fund is the first of its kind in the proprietary Pierpont funds, which is primarily for the bank's private clients.

"This is a strategy which in the past was only available on a separate account basis, and we wanted to make it available on a broader basis," said George C.W. Gatch, a Morgan vice president.

The fund has $100,000 minimum for direct investors and a $5,000 minimum for accounts in the institutional mutual fund marts of Charles Schwab & Co., Jack White & Co., and Fidelity Investments.

Small-cap investments managed in separate Morgan accounts have minimums of $50 million for institutional clients and $10 million for private individuals.

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