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Fund Comparison Software Introduced

Twenty-five fund companies are currently testing new analytical fund software from Wiesenberger/Thomson Financial of Rockville, Md., the firm announced last week. Called FundEnterprise, the web-based software enables mutual fund marketers to conduct competitive analysis on 200 different factors for the 11,000 mutual funds in Wiesenberger's database.

Unlike other fund analysis tools, this software analyzes more than performance data, said Ramy Shaalan, an analyst for Wiesenberger, Thomson Financial. Thomson Financial is also the publisher of this newsletter.

The 200 factors that are analyzed include tax-efficiency, portfolio manager tenure, style drift, expense ratios, and resistance to bear markets, Shaalan said. The software also allows users to create their own peer groups of competitors based on any of these 200 variables, as well as to do one-on-one comparisons between funds, Shaalan said.

"These are some of the things that fund marketing executives look for when trying to position their fund to highlight its best attributes," Shaalan said.

FundEnterprise was developed over the past two years, Shaalan said.

FundEnterprise's database is based on proprietary Wiesenberger/Thomson Financial fund data except for the style analysis numbers, which come from Ibbotson Associates of Chicago, Shaalan said.

Morningstar of Chicago offers a similar product, Principia Pro, which allows financial planners and advisors to analyze mutual funds, said Martha Conlon, a spokesperson for Morningstar.

However, it is a CD-Rom product designed specifically for financial planners, said Conlon.

Like FundEnterprise, Principia Pro has information on 130 factors for 11,000 mutual funds.