The Merger Fund® VL
The Fund seeks to deliver consistent, positive absolute returns with lower volatility to traditional stocks by investing in publicly announced mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, and other corporate reorganizations globally. The highly specialized team seeks to profit from the timely completion of corporate transactions with minimal correlation to traditional stocks and bonds and positive correlation to interest rates, all while striving to minimize drawdowns in volatile markets.
Westchester Capital Management, LLC
For over 30 years, Westchester Capital Management has endeavored to deliver consistent, absolute returns through the disciplined execution of event-driven alternative investment strategies.
Learn more about Westchester Capital Management, LLC
Roy D. Behren
Co-President and Co-Chief Investment Officer
Industry start date: 1987
Start date as fund Portfolio Manager: 2007
Roy Behren is co-president and co-chief investment officer at Westchester Capital Management, LLC, an investment management affiliate of Virtus Investment Partners. Mr. Behren is also a co-portfolio manager at both Westchester and its affiliate Westchester Capital Partners, LLC.
Mr. Behren was named managing partner of Westchester in 2010, having held the role of chief compliance officer from September 2002 through June 2010. He joined Westchester in 1994 from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York Regional Office, where he worked as an enforcement attorney for seven years. He also served as a member of Redback Networks’ board of directors and its audit committee, from 2004 through 2006.
Mr. Behren earned a B.S. in economics at The Wharton School, a J.D. from the University of Miami Law School, and an LL.M. in corporate law from the New York University School of Law. He began working in the investment industry in 1987.
Michael T. Shannon, CFA
Co-President and Co-Chief Investment Officer
Industry start date: 1988
Start date as fund Portfolio Manager: 2007
Michael Shannon is co-president and co-chief investment officer at Westchester Capital Management, LLC, an investment management affiliate of Virtus Investment Partners. Mr. Shannon is also a co-portfolio manager at both Westchester and its affiliate Westchester Capital Partners, LLC. He is a member of Westchester’s investment committee.
Mr. Shannon joined Westchester in 1996 from J.P. Morgan, where he had worked in the firm's corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions, and equity research departments for eight years. He held the role of director of research at Westchester for nine years and then rejoined the firm in 2006 after two years in the role of senior vice president in charge of mergers and special situations at D.E. Shaw & Co.
Mr. Shannon earned a B.S. in finance from Boston College. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) charterholder and a member of the New York society of security analysts and the CFA institute. He began working in the investment industry in 1988.
Portfolio Diversifier and Potential Volatility Dampener
Merger arbitrage strategies have historically provided attractive absolute returns with lower volatility and minimal correlation relative to traditional stock and bond strategies, making for a powerful portfolio diversifier.
A Pioneer in Liquid Alternative Investments
Westchester Capital Management launched their flagship strategy, The Merger Fund®, in 1989. Since then, they have been providing investors access to a proven array of alternative strategies, like The Merger Fund® VL, with the goal of identifying publicly announced, event-driven opportunities.
A leader in global event driven investing for over 30 years, Westchester has evaluated more than 10,000 announced transactions, and invested in over 4,500 mergers, acquisitions, and corporate reorganizations, of which more than 98% were completed.
Position Summary(as of 09/30/2021)
|Average position size||1.28%|
|Number of long positions(1)||71|
|Number of short positions(1)||17|
|Short positions as a % of net assets||29.11%|
(1) It is important to note that long positions, net of short positions ("Net Exposure"), is not an accurate indicator of the Fund's directional exposure and has limited informational value. The Fund's Net Exposure is dependent upon the structure and consideration paid to the target company in each of our investments. A portfolio with a greater concentration of cash deals, for example, will have a higher Net Exposure calculation than a portfolio composed primarily of stock - for - stock transactions, yet both portfolios will have the same level of market correlation, or directional exposure. Our positions are typically fully hedged to neutralize such exposure, in order to minimize equity market correlation and volatility.
Top 10 Positions (% Fund)
|IHS Markit Ltd.||
|Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Co.||
|Nuance Communications, Inc.||
|Kansas City Southern||
|Athene Holding Ltd.||
|Deutsche Wohnen SE||
Holdings are subject to change.
Deal Terms (% Long Positions)(as of 09/30/2021)
Deal terms, regional exposure, sector exposure, and top positions are subject to change.
Deal terms reflect the classification of the type of transaction. Cash reflects an all-cash proposal by one company to buy another’s outstanding shares; cash and stock involves a cash proposal and additional stock in the acquiring company; stock with a fixed exchange ratio refers to a strategy whereby the acquired company safeguards itself from fluctuation in share prices; stock with stub represents remaining equity left over after a company converts its bonds to stub stocks because of the takeover or bankruptcy; and risk reversal is a hedging strategy that protects a long or short position by using put and call options. *The compensation is undetermined because the compensation to be received (e.g., stock, cash, escrow notes, other) will be determined at a later date, potentially at the option of the Fund's investment adviser.
Sector Exposure (% Long Positions ex-SPACs)
Regional Exposure (% Long Positions)
|North America Offshore||
Performance & Risk
Growth of $10,000 InvestmentFrom to
Performance data quoted represents past results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and current performance may be higher or lower than the performance shown. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, so your shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
Returns for periods of less than one year are cumulative total returns.
Sales Charge and Expenses
The investments for the Virtus Variable Insurance Funds (the “Funds”) are managed by the same portfolio manager(s) who manage one or more other funds that have similar names, investment objectives, and investment styles as the Funds. You should be aware that the Funds are likely to differ from the other mutual funds in size, cash flow pattern, and tax matters. Accordingly, the holdings and performance of the Funds can be expected to vary from those of the other mutual funds.
Shares of the Funds are sold only through the currently effective prospectuses and are not available to the general public. Shares of the Funds may be purchased only by life insurance companies to be used with their separate accounts which fund variable annuity and variable life insurance policies or qualified retirement plans and are also available as an underlying investment fund for certain qualified retirement plans. The performance information for the Funds does not reflect fees and expenses of the insurance companies. If such fees and expenses were deducted, performance would be lower.
Please carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the Virtus Variable Insurance Funds before investing. For this and other information about any Virtus Variable Insurance Fund, call 1-800-367-5877 or visit Virtus.com for a prospectus and/or summary prospectus. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.
The Morningstar Rating™ for funds, or "star rating", is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product's monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of products in each product category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a managed product is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. The weights
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1 Yields/Distributions: Distribution Yield (at NAV) is calculated by annualizing the latest month's distribution and dividing by the NAV on the last business day of the period. SEC Yield represents the net investment income earned by a fund over a 30-day period (7-day period for Money Market Funds), expressed as an annual percentage rate based on the fund's public offering share price at the end of the 30-day period (7-day period for Money Market Funds).
2 Distribution History: Distributions are represented on a cash basis and may be reclassified at year end for tax purposes. The Fund will send you a Form 1099-DIV for the calendar year that will tell you how to report these distributions for federal income tax purposes. STCG: Short Term Capital Gain, LTCG: Long Term Capital Gain
3 Risk Statistics: R2 is a statistical measure that represents the percentage of a fund or security's movements that can be explained by movements in a benchmark index. Beta is a quantitative measure of the volatility of a given portfolio to the overall market. Alpha is a risk adjusted measure of an investment's excess return relative to a benchmark. A positive Alpha indicates that the investment produced a return greater than expected for the risk (as measured by Beta) taken. Standard Deviation measures variability of returns around the average return for an investment fund. Higher standard deviation suggests greater risk. Risk Statistics are calculated using 36 monthly returns.
4 Characteristics: For Equity Funds: Avg. Weighted Market Cap (bn): The total dollar market value of all of a company’s outstanding shares.Trailing P/E-Negative Earnings: Per-share stock price divided by the latest 12-months Earnings per Share; Price/Cash Flow: Per-share stock price divided by the per-share operating cash flow; Price/Book: Per-share stock price divided by the latest 12-month per-share Book Value; 3-Year EPS Growth Rate: Average of earnings per share growth for latest 3-year period. The 3-Year EPS Growth Rate is not a forecast of the fund's performance.
4 Characteristics: For Fixed Income Funds: Effective Duration represents the interest rate sensitivity of a fixed income fund. For example, if a fund's effective duration is five years, a 1% increase in interest rates would result in a 5% decline in the fund's price. Similarly, a 1% decline in interest rates would result in a 5% gain in the fund's price.
Not insured by FDIC/NCUSIF or any federal government agency. No bank guarantee. Not a deposit. May lose value.