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Executive Briefings


SunGard Offers Global Fund Trading Service

Financial services software giant SunGard has launched a service for international fund processing and distribution, as part of its overall SunGard Global Network Funds service.

The latest service helps fund companies and transfer agents automate their trade processing and access funds processing platforms such as National Securities Clearing Corporation's automated and centralized funds processing platform, Fund/SERV, a mutual fund industry standard for transaction processing.

Yacktman, Litman Snag Morningstar Gold

Morningstar's fund analysts assigned a Gold rating to two funds this week: Yacktman (YACKX) and Litman Gregory Masters Intl Instl (MSILX).

According to analyst William Samuel Rocco, Litman Gregory Masters International just dropped one subadvisor (Mastholm Asset Management) from its lineup--and is likely to add a new one before too long--but its ample long-term appeal remains intact. "There are several reasons to be quite confident about this fund's current lineup," he wrote.

Morningstar's Kevin McDevitt, wrote that Yacktman's announced sale to Affiliated Managers Group "ensures long-term continuity as the fund's three managers signed 10-year employment agreements.

Putnam Heads East, Far East

Putnam Investments has unveiled a new office in Beijing, representing the firm's first foothold in China. The new office will be managed by Michael Luo, who reports directly to Joseph T. Phoenix, Head of Putnam Global Institutional Management.

Luo joined Putnam from Invesco Great Wall, based in Shenzhen, where he established a fixed income team and focused on growing the firm's China-based institutional client relationships, through the representation of their global investment products.

BNP Snags a Futures Mandate

Alternative mutual fund shop Equinox Fund Management, LLC has hired BNP Paribas Financial Services to administer its Frontier Fund, a public managed futures family of funds.

This is a three-peat for BNP, which in January was awarded administrative mandates for Equinox's mutual fund offerings, including: MutualHedge Frontier Legends Fund, an actively managed, multi-advisor mutual fund with exposure to Commodity Trading Advisors, and the Equinox Alternative Strategy Platform, which comprises two mutual funds, featuring systematic and discretionary trading strategies.


OppFunds' Blunders Cost $35M

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged OppenheimerFunds Inc. and its sales and distribution arm with making misleading statements about two of its mutual funds struggling in the midst of the credit crisis in late 2008.

Specifically, the SEC's investigation found that Oppenheimer used derivative instruments known as total return swaps to add substantial commercial mortgage-backed securities exposure in a high-yield bond fund called the Oppenheimer Champion Income Fund and an intermediate-term, investment-grade fund called the Oppenheimer Core Bond Fund.


Global X Launches HF ETF

Global X Funds, the New York based provider of exchange traded funds, today launched a fund that gives investors exposure to the largest hedge fund managers.

The Global X Top Guru Holdings Index ETF (GURU) will is benchmarked to The Top Guru Holdings Index, which compiles fund managers from a select pool of hedge funds that file 13F information on a quarterly basis. Hedge funds with high turnover and non-concentrated positions are eliminated from the pool. The fund has an expense ratio of 75 basis points.

Pru's Latest Fund Bets On Global Equities

Prudential Investments has launched the Prudential Jennison International Opportunities Fund (PWJAX), which bets on international equities.

The fund is managed by Jennison Associates LLC's four-member Global Equity Team, which is headed by Mark Baribeau. Jennison is a wholly owned subsidiary of Prudential Financial and manages many of Prudential Investments' equity funds.

Ivy Ramps Up Equity, Fixed Income Portfolios

Ivy Funds has expanded its global product line with the launch of the Ivy Global Equity Income Fund. The firm has also changed the Ivy International Balanced Fund to Ivy Global Income Allocation Fund to expand its mandate into a go-anywhere equity and fixed-income fund.

Ivy Global Income Allocation Fund is co-managed by John Maxwell and W. Jeffery Surles and will bet on equities, fixed-income securities and non-investment grade debt securities.


American Century Unveils CCO

American Century Investments has named Peter Cieszko, senior vice president North America, to its management committee, the seven-person senior leadership team that oversees all key functional areas of the company.

In addition, Cieszko has also been appointed Chief Client Officer - Americas, reporting to American Century CEO Jonathan Thomas, with responsibility for all North and South American sales and distribution activities in the institutional and financial intermediary channels. Cieszko and Michael Green, head of American Century's international business, will continue to work collaboratively on a coordinated global sales and distribution strategy.

JP Morgan Taps Goldman Vet as Sales Head

J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services, the retirement plan record keeping business of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, has hired Bill McDermott in a newly created role as head of Sales and Client Solutions.