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MFMarketNews Weekly Web Flash


Didn't log on to Mfmarketnews.com last week? Here's some Web exclusives you missed:

* Affiliated Managers Group has reached a definitive agreement to acquire 60% ownership in Welch & Forbes, which holds $4.2 billion in assets, primarily in the high-net-worth market.

* TD Waterhouse Group is closing a call center in Chicago and shutting 17 of its branch locations in a move that will eliminate 600 jobs, reducing the online financial services firm's workforce by about 9%. The cuts are expected to save the company more than $40 million before taxes in the fourth quarter, after it takes an estimated $35 million charge in the third quarter related to separation, facilities and other costs.

* Security Benefit Group is offering new 403(b)and 403(b)(7) retirement programs to members of the National Education Association. The company became the exclusive retirement plan provider to the 2.6 million-member NEA last year, a contract previously held by Nationwide. Security Benefit manages $800 million in NEA retirement plans assets.

* Delaware Investments is expanding its managed account sales force in an effort to increase its presence in the growing wealth services market. The firm is going to start using Lincoln Financial's sales force to sell the products starting Oct. 1, creating a team of 24 regional sales directors.

* SunAmerica won a bid for the project and has launched a 401(k) plan through its network of 9,000 brokers aimed at U.S. Chamber of Commerce members with fewer than 100 employees. And company representatives say it's comparable to plans at larger companies.

* Federated Investors is now selling its Federated Total Return Bond Fund to retail investors through financial intermediaries, the company announced. The multi-sector fixed-income fund was previously only available to institutional investors.

* Hartford Life has added new software designed to make it easier for the firm's 1,700 brokers to sell its annuity products and will launch a new Web site for independent brokers and investors in mid-September.

* RS Investments has changed the name of one of its funds to more accurately reflect a broadening of its investment mandate. The RS MicroCap Growth Fund today became the RS Smaller Company Growth Fund, reflecting the fund's market capitalization ceiling of $750 million.

Read more at mfmarketnews.com