Sign up today and take advantage of member-only content — the kind of timely, cutting edge industry insight that only Money Management Executive can deliver.
  • Exclusive Online Only Content
  • Free Daily Email News Alerts
  • Asset Management Blogs

JPMorgan, PNC, Principal Financial Take Top Fund Awards Honors

Money Management Executive Holds 6th Fund Operations Awards Program

JPMorgan Investor Services, PNC and Principal Financial take top honors in Money Management Executive's 2008 Fund Operations Awards. Now in its sixth year, the program honors industry leaders in three categories: Leadership, Innovation and Efficiencies/Streamlining.

We would like to extend a special thank-you to this year's panel of seven judges for their time and consideration: T. Neil Bathon, managing director of PMR Associates and founder of FUSE Research Network; Peter Delano, research area director, securities and investments, at TowerGroup; Ian Frost, senior partner at The Boston Consulting Group; Bob Goldberg, president emeritus of NICSA and consultant with Acadient; Burton J. Greenwald, president of B.J. Greenwald Associates; Charlie O'Neill, principal of Diversified Management Resources Financial; and Kathleen Whalen, managing director, Dalbar.


Tom Hierl, director of U.S. funds taxation at JPMorgan Investor Services, is first-place winner for Leadership. A 20-year veteran of the investment management industry, Hierl has served in this position at JPMorgan since August 2006. In this short period of time, Hierl and his team have overseen tremendous growth, with the number of funds they handle rising from 350 to 850, with $15.7 trillion in assets under custody and $4.4 trillion in assets under administration.

To manage this expansion, Hierl is currently implementing technology to automate processes previously handled manually, including tax provision and returns.

Throughout his career, Hierl has consistently been involved in industry organizations, including the Investment Company Institute and the Massachusetts Society of CPAs.

Larry H. Goldbrum, second-place winner for Leadership, is executive vice president and general counsel at RG Wuelfing & Associates and the SPARK Institute. The SPARK Institute represents 95% of the companies serving 401(k) plan participants and 90% of all 403(b) participants. He is also chairman of the institute's government relations committee and has served on the American Bankers Association Council on Retirement and Employee Benefits and the American Bankers Association Retirement Services Conference Board. As an industry leader, he worked with the Securities and Exchange Commission in developing Rule 22c-2 and other initiatives, including fee disclosure, fair funds settlement payments, a sample information-sharing agreement and a guide for requests for information for 403(b) plans.

Goldbrum previously was chief risk officer and senior vice president of Wachovia Retirement Services.

Receiving third place in the Leadership category is Keith F. Hartstein, president and chief executive officer of John Hancock Funds, which oversees $54.1 billion in assets under management. Hartstein rose to this year's incredible liquidity challenges for auction-rate preferred shareholders in John Hancock's closed-end funds. Working relentlessly with the fund company's board of directors, senior management, the Investment Company Institute, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve, Hartstein was able to find ways to provide investors uninterrupted liquidity.

"Restoring liquidity to shareholders of our auction-rate preferred securities has been our goal ever since the industry-wide auction failures began on Feb. 13," Hartstein said.


PNC is first-place winner, Innovation, for its ADVISORport unified managed account platform. Web-based, customizable and available for sponsors to white label, the secure online platform allows financial advisers to make timely changes to clients' portfolios on an ongoing basis, eliminating processing concerns and investment delay risks. Thus, the UMA account is streamlined and can be offered to a broader client base. By improving service to advisers and clients, it provides investment firms a chance to acquire more assets and generate higher revenues.

As PNC noted, "The market has validated this innovative technology, with our assets serviced tripling since 2004, from $25 billion to $82 billion today, and the account base growing four-fold from 78,000 to 312,000." Clearly, ADVISORport is a key component of PNC's $100 billion managed accounts business.

JPMorgan Investor Service's Exchange-Traded Fund Product Development and Operations Team is the recipient of second place, Innovation. Recognizing the increasing popularity of exchange-traded funds, the team expanded its platform so that its clients could offer not just equity ETFs, but also those that invest in fixed income, enhanced indexes, inverse indexes, enhanced inverse indexes, international and emerging markets, derivative products and 130/30 strategies. Of particular concern was the ability to offer clients shortened settlement, cash settlement, customized intraday valuation, cash component forecasting, restricted securities implications and cash in lieu of processing.

Over the past year and a half, JPMorgan has increased its ETF servicing business by 205% and increased its revenue by 280%, to serve 104 funds with more than $52 billion in assets in more than 30 markets.

The third place for Innovation goes to BNY Mellon Asset Servicing for expanding its exchange-traded fund servicing beyond fund accounting, administration, custody and transfer agency services to include automated basket creation and dissemination, and order-desk services. These technologies have added 800 basis points of operating leverage by significantly reducing the headcount to service ETFs. It has also led to an 80% win rate in new business opportunities. All told, this is driving a top-line revenue growth increase of 40% year-over-year.