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Columbia Acorn European Fund Celebrates 10-Year Milestone as Best Fund Among Morningstar Peers

Fund’s Institutional Share Class (CAEZX) is ranked number one out of 50 peers by Morningstar in the Europe Stock category for the 10-year period ending August 31, 2021

Columbia Threadneedle Investments today announced that the Columbia Acorn European Fund has reached its 10-year anniversary. Since its inception, the fund has outpaced its competition and is ranked as the top-performing fund of the decade in Morningstar’s Europe Stock category.

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Stephen Kusmierczak, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Columbia Acorn European Fund (Photo: Business Wire)

Stephen Kusmierczak, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Columbia Acorn European Fund (Photo: Business Wire)

Rated 5-stars overall by Morningstar, the Columbia Acorn European Fund (Institutional Class) is designed to target long-term growth by investing in small- and mid-cap European companies with attractive growth potential.

The Columbia Acorn European Fund’s Institutional 2 share class also earned a 2021 U.S. Lipper Fund Award for ‘Best in 5-Year Performance’ in the European Region Funds category of 17 funds.

With 23 years of investment experience, Stephen Kusmierczak has managed the fund since its inception. Kusmierczak and co-manager Sebastien Pigeon seek out businesses with high returns on capital, and the ability to maintain these above-average returns over long periods. They believe that management quality and tenure, exceptional cultures, and engaged ownership are important factors that lead to durability in high financial returns.

“This type of information is often difficult and expensive to acquire but allows long-term investors who are deeply focused on the business fundamentals to develop an edge,” said Kusmierczak.

“We believe the opportunities to outperform in the European small- and mid-cap space are sustainable, as MiFID II has shifted sell-side securities coverage to large-cap stocks or issuer-paid research. Our team relies on regular meetings with a company’s peers, suppliers, and mid-level management on the ground in Europe to identify great businesses and own them for many years,” said Pigeon.

In addition to the two fund managers, the fund’s investment team has a dedicated team of investment and risk analysts. Combined, the team is fluent in nine languages and averages 16 years of European investing experience. Through a collaborative, bottom-up, research-driven process, the team identifies underappreciated quality growth companies, with above-average sustainable growth relative to local market and industry peers. The fund typically holds between 40 and 60 companies.

Ratings and rankings

Time Period

Overall 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year

Percentile Rank






# of Peers






Star Rating






Category: Europe Stock as of August 31, 2021

Ratings and rankings shown for Institutional Share Class. Other classes may have different performance characteristics and may have different ratings. Morningstar Ratings are based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure. Morningstar Rankings are based on annualized total returns.

About Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is a leading global asset manager that provides a broad range of investment strategies and solutions for individual, institutional and corporate clients around the world. With more than 2,000 people, including over 450 investment professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia, we manage $593 billion1 of assets across developed and emerging market equities, fixed income, asset allocation solutions and alternatives.

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global asset management group of Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AMP). For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter.

Columbia Threadneedle Investments (Columbia Threadneedle) is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.

1 As of June 30, 2021. Includes all assets managed by entities in the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.

Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of a mutual fund carefully before investing. For a free prospectus or a summary prospectus, which contains this and other important information about the funds, visit Read the prospectus carefully before investing. The Fund’s prospectus is updated annually in May.

Institutional and Institutional2 Class shares are sold at net asset value and have limited eligibility. Columbia Management Investment Distributors, Inc. offers multiple share classes, not all necessarily available through all firms, and the share class ratings may vary. Contact us for details.

Investment risks – Market risk may affect a single issuer, sector of the economy, industry or the market as a whole. International investing involves certain risks and volatility due to potential political, economic or currency instabilities and different financial and accounting standards. Risks are enhanced for emerging market issuers. Investments in small- and mid-cap companies involve risks and volatility greater than investments in larger, more established companies.

Morningstar Percentile Rankings are based on the average annual total returns of the funds in the category for the periods stated. They do not include sales charges or redemption fees but do include operating expenses and the reinvestment of dividends and capital gains distributions. Share class rankings vary due to different expenses. If sales charges or redemption fees were included, total returns would be lower.

For each fund with at least a three-year history, Morningstar calculates a Morningstar Rating™ used to rank the fund against other funds in the same category. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a fund’s monthly excess performance, without any adjustments for loads (front-end, deferred, or redemption fees), placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. Exchange-traded funds and open-ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. The top 10% of funds in each category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars, the next 22.5% receive 2 stars and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. (Each share class is counted as a fraction of one fund within this scale and rated separately, which may cause slight variations in the distribution percentages.) 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.

©2021 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Morningstar information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar and/or its content providers; (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.

The Refinitiv Lipper Fund Awards are based on the Lipper Leader for Consistent Return rating, which is a risk-adjusted performance measure calculated over 36, 60 and 120 months. The fund with the highest Lipper Leader for Consistent Return (Effective Return) value in each eligible classification wins the Refinitiv Lipper Fund Award. For more information, see Although Refinitiv Lipper makes reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained herein, the accuracy is not guaranteed by Refinitiv Lipper.

Columbia Acorn funds are distributed by Columbia Management Investment Distributors, Inc., member FINRA, and managed by Columbia Wanger Asset Management, LLC.

© 2021 Columbia Management Investment Advisers, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Columbia Acorn European Fund has outpaced its competition and is ranked as the top-performing fund of the decade in Morningstar’s Europe Stock category.


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