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Executive Briefings


NEWS SCAN

Nationwide is Now on UBS' Side

Nationwide Funds Group has merged the UBS High Yield Fund and UBS Global Equity Fund into the Nationwide High Yield Bond Fund and the Nationwide Global Equity Fund, giving Nationwide some $183 million in new assets.

Morningstar Downgrades PIMCO, Upgrades BlackRock

The PIMCO Global Multi-Asset fund dropped one notch to a Bronze rating from a Silver rating, while the BlackRock Small Cap Growth Equity fund jumped one notch to a Neutral rating, exiting Negative territory, according to Morningstar.

Vanguard: Two More FTSE Indices, Please

FTSE Group is furthering its relationship with Vanguard by licensing two more indices: the FTSE Canada High Dividend Yield Index and the FTSE Canada All Cap Real Estate Capped 25% Index, to Vanguard as the basis of two new exchange-traded funds to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The new licenses follow Vanguard's decision last month to drop MSCI as its index benchmark provider.

Three's a Charm for Touchstone

Touchstone has much to be thankful for going into the holidays next week with a special three-year anniversary for five of its funds. The quintuplets, all launched on Sept. 30, 2009, are commemorating their three-year streak of four- and five-star Morningstar ratings.

RESEARCH

PIMCO Dominates Active ETF Market

PIMCO continues to dominate the active exchange-traded funds space in terms of assets and market share.

According to the latest AdvisorShares Active ETF Report, Pimco held $5.8 billion in six active ETFs as of the end of October, good for a 59.5% market share of the nascent industry. In second place is WisdomTree, which managed $2.7 billion in 14 active ETFs, giving it a 27.9% market share.

Lipper Sees More Outflows for Mutual Funds, ETFs

Negative investor sentiment still plague mutual funds and ETFs, which both saw outflows in the week ended Nov. 14.

According to Lipper data, mutual fund outflows slowed somewhat in the wake of the elections, although investors clearly fear risk. Meanwhile, ETFs felt the blow of some major sales, although there are signs that risk-seeking investors are still making their moves.

Younger Investors Turn Up the Risk Dial

Risk tolerance in the younger U.S. mutual fund investor set has returned to the level seen before the financial crisis of 2008, according to research from the Investment Company Institute.

Specifically, the ICI found that in May 2012, the fraction of mutual fund-owning households younger than 35 willing to take above-average or substantial financial risk to get higher investment returns was 39%-up from a low of 31% in May 2010 and May 2011 and slightly higher than its 37% level in May 2008.

Mainstay Offers Hedge FoFs

Mainstay Investments has augmented its alternatives offerings with two hedge fund-of-funds.

The Private Advisors Alternative Strategies Master Fund (Master Fund) and the Private Advisors Alternative Strategies Fund (Feeder Fund) both aim to provide small- to mid-sized institutional investors and advisors with exposure to hedge strategies.

Charles Schwab Is on a Tech Roll

Charles Schwab has announced yet another new product for companies to improve their business operations.

The San Francisco firm launched its latest compliance service to help mutual fund firms meet new employee compliance and regulatory requirements, which demand more transparency and disclosure from fund managers and industry providers.

Casey Quirk Gets Down and Digital

It's makeover time for Casey, Quirk & Associates, which just launched its brand new corporate website.

The Darien, Conn., investment management consultant added several new functions and sections to improve the user experience on the new site.

PRODUCTS

Guardian Boosts Retirement Plan Line-Up

Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company has expanded its capabilities as a retirement services provider.

The retirement services arm of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America subsidiary has expanded its fund line-ups for two of its non-open-architecture by a total of 60 funds, providing exposure to active and passive funds in new market sectors.

Fidelity Nixes 130/30, Stock Funds

Fidelity has decided to put the brakes on two funds and fold them into a three-star rated fund. According to a filing, the firm is reorganizing the $70 million Fidelity Tax Managed Stock Fund into the $3 billion Fidelity Stock Selector All Cap Fund. Keith Quinton and Timothy Heffernan are the portfolio managers of the stock fund. As well, the firm is folding its $19.6 million 130/30 Large Cap Fund into the same stock fund.

Gross Preps EM Bond Fund

PIMCO is looking to launch an emerging markets bond fund sometime in the first quarter of 2013.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the fund, dubbed the PIMCO Emerging Markets Full Spectrum Bond Fund, will bet on emerging markets fixed income instruments.

Natixis Shelves Asia Fund

The Board of Trustees of Natixis Funds Trust I has decided to liquidate the Absolute Asia Dynamic Equity Fund, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The fund will liquidate on December 18.

ARRIVALS

Atlantic Fund Snags Ex-SSgA Sales Exec

Atlantic Fund Services has a new business director.

David Sandrew has joined the Portland, Maine-based firm firm to lead its efforts in the mutual fund and hedge fund space. Prior to Atlantic, Sandrew also served as a director of ETF sales at State Street Global Advisors.

BlackRock Unveils Investment Strategist Chief

BlackRock has named Russ Koesterich as Chief Investment Strategist, responsible for communicating the firm's investment strategy and perspective on the markets and economy to investors and financial advisors. He will report to Ken Kroner, BlackRock's Global Head of Multi-Asset Strategies.

STATISTICS

$1.1T in assets currently reside in passive mutual funds.

That is an increase of 95%, or $572 billion since 2008.

SOURCE: Cerulli Associates

42% of mutual fund assets are owned by retail investors.

This includes money market funds and closed-end funds sold, as of 2011.

SOURCE: Cerulli Associates


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