Columbia Management has launched the Columbia Acorn Emerging Markets Fund and the Columbia Acorn European Fund, each of which will invest in companies with market caps of less than $5 billion.

The Emerging Markets fund will invest in companies located in or primarily exporting to China, Brazil, India or other emerging or frontier markets, with lead managers Fritz Kaegi and Stephen Kusmierczak.

“While most emerging markets funds invest in large-cap stocks that are dependent on world macroeconomics, Columbia Acorn Emerging Markets Fund is focused on smaller, more innovative companies, often serving local consumers,” said Chuck McQuaid, chief investment officer. “We look for niche businesses that are more nimble and possess solid, long-term growth prospects.”

The European fund will focus 70% of its portfolio on Western European countries, with the remaining 30% being allocated to Eastern European, Russian and Ukrainian companies, with lead manager Andreas Waldburg-Wolfegg.

“Many smaller European companies enjoy dominant global positions in highly profitable niche markets,” said Zach Egan, director of international research. “This fund will seek out these and other exciting opportunities.”