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KEELEY All Cap Value Fund Fourth Quarter 2012 Commentary

Holly LaFon

Holly LaFon

210 followers
In the fourth calendar quarter of 2012, the KEELEY All Cap Value Fund (KACVX) increased 3.66 percent compared to a 1.65 percent increase for the Russell 3000 Value Index. For the full year ending December 31, 2012, the Keeley All Cap Value Fund rose 20.67 percent compared to a 17.55 percent rise in the Russell 3000 Value Index. Despite a number of fearful macroeconomic headlines that caused many investors to position themselves conservatively, 2012 proved to be a strong year for risk assets. Equities rose sharply in the face of uncertainty over a hard landing in China, the European sovereign debt crisis, and the "fiscal cliff" here in the U.S. Despite double digit returns for most equity indices, it appears that many investors are questioning the recovery. Moreover, trends in mutual fund cash flows indicate they continue to watch the market climb the "wall of worry" and remain hesitant to commit their capital. We believe this continues to be an indirect catalyst for future growth as investors eventually capitulate and move from low yielding cash and bonds and into equities. The Fund posted strong results in both absolute and relative terms in the fourth quarter and for the year. During the fourth quarter both positive stock and sector allocation contributed to our outperformance. Strong results in the industrial sector, both from an allocation perspective and from good stock picking, were primary sources of our outperformance. Good stock selection and a substantial underweight to the poor performing energy sector boosted returns as well. For the year, strong stock selection accounted for the majority of our performance, but sector allocation also had a positive impact on our results. Strong stock selection in the technology sector was a key factor in our outperformance, as was an overweight position in consumer discretionary and an underweight position in the lagging utilities sector.

During the fourth quarter, ADT Corporation (ADT) proved to be the top performing position in the fund. Shares of the producer of electronics security debuted strongly after being spun-off from Tyco last year. The company climbed over 29 percent and added 56 basis points during the quarter. Although we believe the company can do well regardless of the housing environment, the stock was clearly boosted by improvement and continued momentum in the housing market.

Although ADT was the top contributor from the industrial sector during the quarter, Chicago Bridge and Iron (CBI) was another strong performer in the sector. The global engineering and construction firm rose sharply in December after shareholders of Shaw Group approved Chicago Bridge and Iron's $3 billion acquisition which was proposed in July. The combined entities will become one of the largest energy construction and engineering contracting firms in the world.

Another key factor in our outperformance during the quarter was a sharp increase in merger and acquisition activity. The portfolio didn't experience any takeovers until this quarter, when two names were acquired at a premium price. This provides us with optimism that momentum in M&A may continue in 2013. Epoch Holdings (EPHC) was a notable contributor in the fourth quarter, rising over 19 percent after being acquired by TD Bank in December.

Walter Investment Management (WAC) was the largest contributor to the portfolio's results in 2012. The mortgage servicer benefited from the challenges of the larger mortgage players that have been looking to reduce their exposure to mortgage related assets. Walter has successfully acquired these assets at a meaningful discount and the position added 151 basis points of performance in 2012 after rising over 109 percent for the year.

Overall, we were pleased to see stock selection play a significant role in our returns for the quarter and in 2012. Due to incredibly cheap financing which began in 2009, we have believed for quite some time that the market environment would eventually favor our process where low cost of capital can foster event driven restructuring. The additional number of spin-offs in 2011 and 2012 and the noticeable increase in Merger and Acquisition activity late last year was strong evidence that cheap financing is providing opportunities for our portfolios. Given the Federal Reserve's well publicized communication to keep interest rates low, we see few reasons why M&A and other forms of financial engineering to promote growth will not continue in 2013. Consequently, we remain optimistic that these catalysts will provide a strong tailwind for our portfolio as we head into the new year. Thank you for your support of the All Cap Value Fund.

The performance reflected herein is for the Class A shares without load. "Without load" does not reflect the deduction of the maximum 4.50% sales fee (load), which reduces the performance quoted. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The performance data quoted represents past performance and current returns may be lower or higher. The investment return and principal will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than the original cost. Most current performance data may be obtained at www.KeeleyFunds.com.

Investors should consider carefully before investing in the Fund's investment objective, risks and charges and expenses. To obtain an additional prospectus, which contains that information and other information about the Fund, please call us at 800.533.5344 or visit www.keeleyfunds.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before you invest or send money.

Stocks of smaller companies tend to be more volatile and less liquid than those of large companies.

This summary represents the views of the portfolio managers as of 12/31/12. Those views may change, and the Fund disclaims any obligation to advise investors of such changes. For the purpose of determining the Fund's holdings, securities of the same issuer are aggregated to determine the weight in the Fund. Portfolio holdings are subject to change without notice and are not intended as recommendations of individual securities.

Performance attribution is commonly used to measure the quality of the separate decisions that go into the management of an investment portfolio compared to a benchmark index. This analysis tries to isolate the effect and measure the return contribution of market allocation, which analyzes the positive/negative impact of a portfolio's allocation to groupings such as geographic regions or market sectors, and stock selection, which analyzes the positive/negative impact of the portfolio manager's security ownership and weighting decisions within a wider grouping. The performance attribution data in this quarterly commentary was prepared by Keeley Asset Management Corp. ("KAMCO") using the following constraints: (1) Fund portfolio holdings are as of the beginning of each day; index constituents are as of the end of the day. That means that the Fund's holdings are not included until the day after acquisition (when it is included in the portfolio as of the beginning of the next business day), and a portfolio holding that is sold is included in the analysis through the end of the day on which it is sold, and that the values at which securities are included in the analysis are the values as of the beginning of the day. For the index, securities are included at their values at the end of the day. (2) The securities values used in the analysis are the prices used by KAMCO in its internal records for the Fund and the prices used by the index provider for the benchmark index. If a price from either of those sources is unavailable, pricing information from FactSet is used. Pricing information from the index provider or from FactSet may differ from the pricing information used by KAMCO. (3) For the purpose of assigning portfolio security holdings to a particular sector and/or industry, KAMCO assigns the securities in accordance with the sector and industry classifications of the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) developed by MSCI and Standard and Poor's (to the extent available) as a primary source and FactSet (to the extent available) as a secondary source for this information. In the event KAMCO securities information vendors do not classify a security's issuer to a particular sector or industry or if the published classification appears to be incorrect, KAMCO may classify the security's issuer according to its own judgment, using other securities information vendors, the company description and other publicly available information about the company's peer group. Sector and/or industry classifications may change over time. The attribution information provided in this commentary includes summaries of attribution by market sector. Attribution is not precise and should be considered to be an approximation of the relative contribution of each of the sectors considered. The information on performance by sector reflects the aggregated gross return of the Fund's securities. Contributions to the Fund's performance by sector (computed as described above) were compared against the contributions to the aggregate return of the stocks comprising the index, by sector, as reported by FactSet Databases.

The Global Industry Classification Standard ("GICS") was developed by and is the exclusive property and a service mark of MSCI Inc. ("MSCI") and Standard & Poor's, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. ("S&P") and is licensed for use by KAMCO. Neither MSCI, S&P nor any third party involved in making or compiling the GICS or any GICS classifications makes any express or implied warranties or representations with respect to such standard or classification (or the results to be obtained by the use thereof), and all such parties hereby expressly disclaim all warranties of originality, accuracy, completeness, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose with respect to any of such standard or classification. Without limiting any of the foregoing, in no event shall MSCI, S&P, any of their affiliates or any third party involved in making or compiling the GICS or any GICS classifications have any liability for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, consequential or any other damages (including lost profits) even if notified of the possibility of such damages.

Please consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges of expenses of the investment company. Read the prospectus carefully before investing, as such information is included therein. Data provided for performance attribution are estimates based on unaudited portfolio results. Performance contributors and detractors were not realized gains or losses for the Fund during the quarter. Performance attribution provided by Factset Research Systems Inc. The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity universe. The Russell 2000 Index is a subset of the Russell 3000® Index representing approximately 10% of the total market capitalization of that index. These Index figures do not reflect any deduction for fees, expenses or taxes, and are not available for investment. For month-end performance results and additional information on our funds, please visit our website at www.keeleyfunds.com. Portfolio holdings will change, and should not be considered purchase recommendations. Securities in the Fund may not match those in the indexes and performance of the Fund will differ. Direct investment in an index is not possible. The KEELEY All Cap Value Fund, KEELEY Mid Cap Value Fund, KEELEY Small-Mid Cap Value Fund, KEELEY Small Cap Value Fund, KEELEY Small Cap Dividend Value, KEELEY Mid Cap Dividend Value Fund, and KEELEY Alternative Value Fund are distributed by Keeley Investment Corp.

The top ten holdings of KACVX as of December 31, 2012 include The ADT Corp. (1.95%), Quanta Services Inc. (1.79%), ITT Corp. (1.77%), Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (1.76%), Pfizer, Inc. (1.73%), Eaton Corp. PLC (1.68%), Ashland, Inc. (1.66%), Union Pacific Corp. (1.66%), Teleflex, Inc. (1.64%), and Toll Brothers, Inc. (1.63%).



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