Dollars & Sense

American Century to drop Livestrong name from mutual funds

Updated: 2013-05-03T02:06:19Z

By MARK DAVIS

The Kansas City Star

American Century Investments is dropping the name Livestrong from one of its mutual fund groups after seven years.

The Kansas City company has sold mutual funds using the Livestrong brand under an agreement with the Livestrong Foundation since 2006. It is named for cyclist Lance Armstrong, who has been stripped of his Tour de France titles and publicly has acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs.

American Century said its Livestrong funds will be rebranded One Choice, a name already used on a similar group of funds at the company since 2004. The name change will take effect May 31.

An American Century spokesman said the fund company’s long commitment to supporting cancer research and the Livestrong Foundation would continue.

“We plan to continue to support them and find other opportunities to partner,” American Century’s Chris Doyle said.

Livestrong president and chief executive Doug Ulman praised American Century for its early partnership with the foundation.

“We are grateful for our shared successes and look forward to American Century’s continued support of our mission and so many others’ in the cancer community, both in research and patient-focused endeavors,” Ulman said in the fund company’s announcement.

American Century is owned in part by the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, which works to combat cancer and other gene-based diseases. American Century founder James E. Stowers Jr. and his wife, Virginia Stowers, both are cancer survivors and founded the institute using the wealth generated by American Century’s success.

The fund company pays more than 40 percent of its profits to the institute, a total that comes close to $1 billion since 2000.

The Livestrong Foundation serves cancer survivors.

Lance Armstrong survived testicular cancer that had spread to his brain, lungs and abdomen, according to the foundation he founded. He resigned as chairman of the foundation last year.

Sporting Kansas City, the Major League Soccer club, dropped its ties to the foundation and Livestrong from its stadium name in January.

American Century also said it would introduce a new type of shares in the funds, giving them the lowest fees available from the firm. The funds are designed for use in retirement plans provided by employers to their employees.

To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372 or send email to mdavis@kcstar.com.

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