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Weekly Web Flash


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:

* Hammered by declining equity markets, Pioneer Investment Management USA announced last week that it will slash its workforce by 8%. The layoffs, which are the first in the company's 73-year history, will result in the loss of 63 positions in three offices throughout the northeast and Midwest. Daniel T. Geraci, the firm's CEO, said the cuts were necessary because of the "depressed level of the equity markets."

* Monetta Funds, a seven-fund company based in Wheaton, Ill., lowered the minimum initial investment to $50 for investors signing up for an automatic investment plan of at least $25 a month, the company announced last week. Previously, the minimum initial investment was $250

* INVESCO Funds Group of Denver has begun offering investors electronic delivery of fund and account documentation, saying e-delivery is a "safer" alternative to regular mail delivery, it announced last week.

"The service is faster than traditional mail delivery, not to mention safer and more convenient," said Ray Cunningham, president and COO of INVESCO Funds Group, in a statement.

* Phoenix Investment Partners has signed an agreement to acquire a majority interest in Los Angeles-based Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC. The addition supports Phoenix's managed account growth strategy, according to the company. Kayne Anderson Rudnick, which has over $7 billion in assets under management in a broad range of equity and fixed income products, caters to the managed account, high-net-worth and institutional markets

* Feeling the pinch from the drop off in the tech and Internet sectors, Munder Capital Management of Birmingham, Mich., laid off 31 employees earlier this month, according to a company spokesperson.

The firm, which specializes in technology and Internet investing, was forced to make the cuts because of the difficult market conditions, said Jackie Ruegger, a company spokeswoman.

The majority of the cuts were made to the firm's retail distribution and operations staff but also included two associate portfolio managers and Steve Appledorn and Alan Harris, two senior managers who worked on the Net Net and International Net Net funds, Ruegger said.