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Executive Briefings


NEWS SCAN

Gemini Passes $10B Milestone

It'll be a happy new year for Gemini Fund Services, which has announced a major achievement for its Northern Lights shared trusts.

The Hauppauge, N.Y., firm's trusts - which include Northern Lights Fund Trust I, II, III, Northern Lights ETF Trust and Northern Lights Variable Fund Trust - have collectively surpassed $10 billion in assets under administration.

OppFunds Pushes For MoMath

OppenheimerFunds is ringing in the holiday season in a geeky but philanthropic way.

The firm this week unveiled its new philanthropy program: The Right Way to Change Perspectives (The Right Way) whereby it will partner with the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) and Cross-Cultural Solutions to address education and social issues.

Guinness Drafts New Website

Guinness Atkinson Asset Management has re-launched its mutual funds website, streamlining the presentation of its investor resources such as each fund's investment philosophy and approach, investment management team, portfolio details and fund literature.

Huntington Asset Services Ramps Up Sales Unit

Huntington Asset Services is looking to boost its sales team.

The mutual fund administration unit of Huntington Bank, which last week added Greg Forbes to its business development team, is looking to add two sales executives in early 2013, according to Joe Rezabek, president of Huntington Asset Services.

Fidelity Offers Shopping Bonanza

Fidelity Investments is taking inspiration from the year-end shopping season.

The fund firm is lowering investment minimums on 22 equity, fixed income and enhanced index funds, and slashing total net expenses on eight of its Spartan Index funds.

Holding Up Systemic Risk Revolution? Credit Cards

In August, a site developed for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission began issuing "legal entity" identification codes for participants in swaps transactions.

But mutual funds which tried to register could not.

That was because the portal only accepted credit cards for payment, which they do not use.

PRODUCTS

AdvisorShares Launches Asset Allocation ETF

Active exchange-traded fund purveyor AdvisorShares is launching the AdvisorShares Pring Turner Business Cycle ETF (DBIZ) on Dec. 19.

The fund will bet on stocks, bonds and commodities and will employ its subadvisor's, Pring Turner Capital Group, proprietary business cycle research to change the fund's asset allocation and sector emphasis to minimize portfolio risk and optimize portfolio returns throughout the business cycle. It has a net expense ratio of 162 basis points.

Fidelity Unveils Active ETF Lineup

Fidelity Investments, the firm that lost its position as the biggest U.S. funds provider after ignoring exchange-traded products for years, is seeking to open an actively-run ETF lineup starting with a corporate bond fund.

The company, based in Boston, wants approval for a series of exchange-traded funds that would be eligible to invest in stocks, bonds or other assets, including mutual funds or ETFs, according to a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The initial fund, with no introduction date listed, would invest mainly in investment-grade corporate debt.

LBO Stalwart Preps Maiden Mutual Fund

Yet another private equity giant shop is looking to make it even bigger in the mutual fund space. Money Management Executive previously reported on KKR & Co.'s '40 Act initiative in July.

This time, Blackstone, which was founded in 1985 by Stephen Schwarzman and Peter Peterson and boasts some $205 billion in assets for public and corporate pension funds, academic, cultural and charitable organizations, is prepping its maiden mutual fund offering, Blackstone Alternative Multi-Manager Fund.

The Dark Side Beckons Mutual Fund Pioneer

Fidelity Investments is dipping its toes into hedge fund waters via a multi-manager mutual fund launched in partnership with hedge fund shop Arden Asset Management.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the mutual fund began trading this month with more than $700 million from Fidelity, according to people familiar with the fund.

RESEARCH

Mutual Funds Lose $2 Billion

Mutual funds suffered total estimated outflows of $2.0 billion for the week ended Wednesday, December 5, according to data from the Investment Company Institute.

Equity funds had estimated outflows of $7.16 billion for the week, compared to estimated outflows of $627 million in the previous week.

ETFs Top $154 Billion YTD

U.S. ETF assets totaled $1.3 trillion as of November 30. That is up 24.2% year-to-date, according to State Street Global Advisors' latest ETF Snapshot.

In November, investors added $20.6 billion more to ETFs than they withdrew, as fixed income and mid-cap ETFs attracted $4.5 billion and $3.0 billion of inflows respectively.

Muni Bond Fund Inflows Continue

The holidays and year-end are approaching rapidly, leaving investors anxious about where to stash their abundant cash.

With so much uncertainty surrounding the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds, and higher taxes all but a certainty, investors still like what the tax-exempt market holds for them. As such, muni bond mutual funds recorded their fifth straight week of inflows, and their 62nd week of positive flows in the past 66 weeks.

Funds recorded inflows of $489 million for the week ended Dec. 5, Lipper FMI numbers show.

ARRIVALS