Hancock Horizon Funds Launches New U.S. Small Cap Fund

Success of regional Burkenroad Small Cap Fund becomes roadmap for new offering

PR Newswire

GULFPORT, Miss., Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hancock Holding Company (HBHC) announced today the launch of the Hancock Horizon U.S. Small Cap Fund as a new addition to the company's growing $2 billion family of mutual funds. The fund offers investors exposure to a diverse portfolio of small cap stocks and is managed by the same team that oversees the 5-star Morningstar-rated Burkenroad Small Cap Fund.

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"Diversification has always been an important component of all investment portfolios, and our new small cap fund will build on the principles we've used to create and manage the Burkenroad Small Cap Fund while offering exposure to growing companies across the country," said Hancock Horizon Fund Manager David Lundgren, CFA. "Small cap stocks have great potential, and we see them as an important element of a well-diversified portfolio."

The new fund will invest in small companies that are positioned to be successful in their respective industries and market sectors, which include energy, industrials, information technology, healthcare, consumer-focused, and others. Fund managers at Hancock Horizon Funds (HHF) said their goal is to create another successful fund modeled after similar funds the financial team has established over the last 13 years.

HHF Manager Greg Hodlewsky, CFA, says the strategy the team is using to manage the U.S. Small Cap Fund has been in place for several years for select clients as separately managed accounts.

"We're not starting from scratch with this new fund," Hodlewsky said. "We've been managing similar small cap portfolios for many of our affluent clients for a very long time. Now all of our clients will have access to a diverse small cap offering that lets investors get in with companies on the ground floor that may become the next Intel or Apple – all start off as small companies."

Lundgren, who is the Burkenroad Small Cap Fund manager, will also serve as the lead manager on the new U.S. Small Cap Fund, and Hodlewsky–who has managed and developed the strategy behind the separately-managed funds that guided the new fund's design and approach–will work with Lundgren as a fund manager.

Hancock Holding Company is the parent company of Hancock Bank and Whitney Bank.  The investment management team for Hancock and Whitney banks comprises 17 members responsible for managing more than $5.6 billion in assets under management.

About Hancock Horizon Funds
Founded with three funds worth $240 million at its inception in 2000, the Hancock Horizon Funds family has grown to include 11 funds with over $2 billion in assets today.  It is one of the largest mutual fund families in the Gulf South region and includes the 5-star Morningstar-rated Burkenroad Small Cap Fund and the 4-star Morningstar-rated Quantitative Long/Short Fund.

About Hancock Holding Company
Helping create opportunities for consumers, businesses, and communities across a five-state Gulf South footprint, Gulfport, Miss., based Hancock Holding Company (Nasdaq:  HBHC) operates Hancock Bank in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida and Whitney Bank in Louisiana and Texas. The company's comprehensive regional network of financial services includes traditional and online banking; commercial and energy banking; small business banking; trust and investments; corporate trust services; insurance; private banking; and mortgage services. Both founded more than a century ago to help people achieve their financial goals and dreams, Hancock Bank, headquartered in Gulfport, and Whitney Bank, headquartered in New Orleans, La., consistently rank among America's strongest, safest financial institutions, according to BauerFinancial, Inc. More information and online banking services are available at www.hancockbank.com or www.whitneybank.com.

There are specific risks inherent in investing primarily in small companies.  Smaller companies typically have a higher risk of failure and historically have experienced a greater degree of volatility.

There is no guarantee that the Fund will perform or be managed in a similar manner as the Burkenroad Small Cap Fund.  Past performance of any fund does not guarantee future results.

To determine if this Fund is an appropriate investment for you, carefully consider the Fund's investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing.  This and other information can be found in the Fund's prospectus, which may be obtained by visiting www.hancockhorizonfunds.com or by calling 1-800-990-2434.  Please read it carefully before investing.

Mutual fund investing involves risk including the loss of principal. Diversification may not protect against market risk. With short sales, you risk paying more for a security than you received from its sale.

© 2013Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

For each fund with at least a three-year history, Morningstar calculates a Morningstar Rating™ metric each month by subtracting the return on a 90-day U.S. Treasury Bill from the fund's load adjusted return for the same period, and then adjusting this excess return for risk. The top 10 percent of funds in each category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5 percent receive 4 stars, the next 35 percent receive 3 stars, the next 22.5 percent receive 2 stars and the bottom 10 percent receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a fund is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three, five and ten-year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. As of 11/30/2013, the Hancock Horizon Burkenroad Small Cap Fund, Class A was rated against 602 Small Blend Funds over a three year period, 539 over a five-year period, and 331 over a 10 year period and received 4, 4, and 5 stars respectively. For the same time period, the Hancock Horizon Quantitative Long/Short Fund was rated against 121 Long/Short Equity Funds over a three year period and 71 over a five year period. The Class A shares received a rating of 4 and 3 stars, and the Class A load waived received 4 and 4 stars respectively.

Hancock Horizon Funds are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co., which is not affiliated with Hancock Holding Company or any of its affiliates.

Not  insured.         No  guarantee.         May lose value.

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