GuideStone Funds garner top fi360 ranking

DALLAS (BP) -- GuideStone Funds ranked No. 1 among 223 mutual fund families for the quarter ending March 31, according to Fund Family Fiduciary Rankings by fi360, a key evaluator within the finance industry. This is the first time GuideStone Funds has achieved the top ranking in fi360's quarterly rankings but follows 2011 when the funds consistently finished in the top 10.

The ranking comes on the heels of the March announcement from an industry ranking firm that named GuideStone Funds No. 1 among 182 funds in receiving Lipper's 2012 Best Overall Small Fund Group award, one of the premier honors in the nation's financial sector for mutual fund families with up to $40 billion in assets.

GuideStone Funds is a division of GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Rodric E. Cummins, senior vice president and chief investment officer for GuideStone Capital Management, said the accolades point to the mutual fund industry's recognition of GuideStone Funds' risk-adjusted performance from the consistent implementation of its manager-of-managers investment philosophy.

"Our investment structure is built for the long-term," Cummins said. "It is designed to provide thoughtful, high-quality, strategic investment options to our participants and is executed by what we believe to be world-class investment management firms."

John R. Jones, chief operating officer of GuideStone Financial Resources and president of GuideStone Funds, said he believes the recognition helps demonstrate that performance and values-based investing can walk hand-in-hand.

"We believe we are dispelling the popular belief in the mutual fund industry that investors have to compromise biblical integrity to achieve acceptable investment performance," Jones said. "For the 10 and a half years that GuideStone Funds have been available, we have sought to provide that careful balance of generating performance while maintaining our convictions. The GuideStone Capital Management team works tirelessly, seeking to achieve those two goals day in and day out."

GuideStone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins echoed those sentiments.

"We are thankful, first and foremost to the Lord for these achievements," Hawkins said. "On each desk at GuideStone sits a card reminding us that we seek to honor the Lord by being lifelong partners with our participants in enhancing their financial security. That commitment drives our daily decisions at GuideStone. We are thankful for the integrity and excellence of our investment team who are now being publicly recognized as leaders in the entire industry."

To determine fi360 standings, mutual fund and exchange-traded funds families are ranked by the fi360 Fund Family Fiduciary Rankings. In these rankings, fi360 determines the percentage of the individual funds in a family that have a fi360 Fiduciary Score in the top quartile of its peer group. The score evaluates investments on nine different criteria to determine if the investment meets a minimum fiduciary standard of care: regulatory oversight, track record, assets in the investment, stability of the organization, composition consistent with asset class, style consistency, expense ratio/fees relative to peers, risk-adjusted performance relative to peers and performance relative to peers. Additionally, fund families must contain at least five distinct funds with a three-year history to be considered in the report.

Similarly, Lipper's benchmarking and classifications are widely recognized as the industry's standard by asset managers, fund companies and financial intermediaries. Lipper Rankings compare the performance of mutual funds with funds having similar investment objectives and include both socially screened and unscreened funds. Rankings are subject to change monthly.

For more information on GuideStone Funds, including the prospectus and other funds' individual rankings, visit www.GuideStoneFunds.org. Retirement plan participants who want to determine if any of the funds are an appropriate component of their portfolio can use GPS: Guided Planning Services by logging into their accounts at MyGuideStone.


Roy Hayhurst is editorial services manager for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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