MFMarketNews Weekly Web Flash
September 10, 2001
Mfmarketnews.com is keeping abreast of the industry's latest developments with postings twice a day. If you didn't log on last week, here are some Web exclusives you missed:
* Fidelity Investments is planning to lay off approximately 3,000 employees sometime this month, according to a source close to the company who wished to remain anonymous. It is unknown what divisions will be targeted, but it is likely that the company's personal investment centers, call centers and marketing department will be hit hardest, the source said. As is the case with many firms, call volume is way down, according to the source. Also, there may be overlap within the marketing department that would lead to layoffs there, the source said. A Fidelity spokeswoman denied the rumor and said the company is not planning to make any staff cuts at this time.
* Vanguard announced that it has aligned itself with the Reader's Digest Association to launch a marketing campaign in 2002. Vanguard is looking to leverage Reader's Digest's direct mail marketing expertise and resources, said James Gately, managing director of Vanguard's Direct Investor Services Division.
* With designs on capturing a greater percentage of the back office service market, Mellon Financial announced it will acquire software provider Eagle Investment Systems of West Hartford, Conn., for an undisclosed sum. Eagle, a privately-held software developer, will be added to Mellon's investment support services arm, Mellon Global Securities Services.
* ProFunds of Bethesda, Md. launched six index funds, bringing its total index-based mutual fund offerings to 39, the company announced. While the majority of ProFunds' funds seek to double the return or double the inverse of their respective indices, the new funds will seek to match their indices' return, according to a spokeswoman.
* The Enterprise Group of Funds launched a pair of new funds suited for skittish investors: Strategic Allocation and Total Return. Both funds also introduce new sub-advisors to the Atlanta-based firm. The Enterprise Total Return Fund is a bond fund managed by well-known bond manager, Bill Gross, founder of PIMCO. The Strategic Allocation Fund, sub-advised by Brinson Advisors Inc., is managed by Kirk Barneby, CIO of quantitative investments at Brinson.
* Nuveen Investments has announced the launch of a new electronic distribution platform to support the firm's sales staff when dealing with financial advisors. The platform supports the company's traditional wholesaling model by providing each sales associate with his or her own Web site that advisors can log onto. Through those sites, advisors will be able to contact Nuveen wholesalers using instant messaging.
State Street Investments' 529 college savings business, Schoolhouse Capital, has partnered with OppenheimerFunds on its 529 plan and will begin distributing the plan through OppenheimerFunds' distribution network later this year, the companies announced. The plan will feature investment products from both firms.