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August 15, 1999

Walden Launches Four New Funds

With the population of socially responsible mutual funds growing steadily, Walden joins in with quadruplets. -- This summer Walden Asset Management, the socially responsible investment division of United States Trust Company (USTC) of Boston, initiated four new mutual funds devoted to social as well as financial goals. Together, these no-load funds manage more than 100 million U.S. dollars in assets, and represent a strong entry into the field of socially responsible mutual funds.

The new funds include Walden/BBT Domestic Social Index Fund (WDSIX) and the Walden/BBT International Social Index Fund (WISIX). These funds are intended to parallel the performance of two other indexes, Standard & Poor's 500 index and Morgan Stanley International/Europe, Asia and Far East Index, respectively, while adhering to social objectives.

"The Walden Domestic Social Index Fund was conceived with an ambitious social change agenda at its core," says Geeta Bhide Aiyer, founder and president of Walden Asset Management, which was recently acquired by USTC. The domestic index fund addresses social questions primarily as an "activist fund," through proxy voting, dialogue with companies, and filing shareholder resolutions on a range of issues. "We plan to use the domestic index as a platform to advocate for actions that increase the respect shown by companies for human dignity, social welfare, and our natural environment."

The Walden International Social Index Fund is the first-ever socially screened international index fund. It exercises a smaller degree of shareholder advocacy in foreign companies, but also applies exclusionary screens for social and environmental issues. "The fund is intended to track the developed country markets in Europe, Australia, and the Far East," says Aiyer. "We believe it offers social investors a unique opportunity to gain the benefits of international diversification without compromising their social principles."

Walden's other two funds are Walden Social Equity Fund (WSEFX) and Walden Social Balanced Fund (WSBFX), each investing in companies that are above average in their industry for environmental performance and management, above average for labor relations, equal employment, and community support, and adherent to fundamental human rights. The Equity Fund seeks long-term capital growth through an actively managed portfolio of stocks, while the Balanced Fund maintains a mixed portfolio of stocks, bonds, and money markets.

Walden's family of funds makes a strong contribution to the latest flurry of socially responsible mutual funds. Walden draws from 25 years of experience in the socially responsible investing field, and its parent company, USTC, manages approximately 3.7 billion U.S. dollars.

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