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Executive Briefings


NEWS SCAN

Ashfield's All Grown Up Now

There's nothing quite like the feeling of coming out from under a guardian's wing.

San Francisco's Ashfield Capital Partners is experiencing that firsthand, now that they've completed a deal to purchase its existing business from Old Mutual Asset Management.

iShares Not Raising ETF Fees

It turns out that iShares will not be raising fees on its exchange-traded funds anytime soon.

In a New Year's Eve interview with Benzinga, BlackRock spokeswoman Christine Hudacko dispelled an earlier report that the firm was raising fees on some of its bigger funds, such as the $47 billion iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Fund (EEM), the $9.33 billion iShares MSCI Brazil Fund (EWZ).

SEC Cautions Retail Hedge Funds

Bruce Karpati, chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement division's asset management unit, has a few choice words for hedge funds looking to get into the mutual fund business.

Karpati, speaking before the Regulatory Compliance Association, an operations and compliance advocacy group, last month said that the "retailization" of hedge funds has made it easier for unsophisticated investors to invest directly in hedge funds.

To counter possible fraud and market abuse by unscrupulous traders, Karpati urged hedge fund purveyors to have in place appropriate checks and balances "where employees have overlapping, and potentially conflicting positions, such as a trader calculating the fund's P&L, or a portfolio manager valuing the fund's assets."

Eaton Vance Adds $33 Billion Firm

Parametric Portfolio Associates, a subsidiary of Eaton Vance Corp., has finalized its previously announced purchase of the Clifton Group Investment Management Company.

Based in Minneapolis, Clifton specializes in providing futures- and options-based overlay services and custom risk management products to institutional investors. As of October 31, Clifton managed $33.5 billion of funded and overlay assets on behalf of its clients.

Fairholme, American Funds Rebound in 2012

Morningstar last month gave props to a few funds that the research firm said went from worst to first in 2012.

For example, the Fairholme (FAIRX) and Schneider Small Cap Value (SCMVX) funds "had great returns in 2010, appalling losses in 2011, and awesome gains again in 2012," according to Morningstar.

Advance Capital Drops Sub-Advisor

Southfield, MI-based Advance Capital Management's Board of Directors last month passed a resolution terminating the sub-investment-advisor relationship with Birmingham, MI-based Seizert Capital Partners.

Advance Capital's four funds, including the Retirement Income Fund, Balanced Fund, Equity Growth Fund and Core Equity Fund, paid a total of some $3.3 million in investment advisory fees to Seizert last year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Emerald Asset Buries Capital Global Fund

Emerald Asset Advisors is starting out the New Year with one less fund to worry about.

That's because the Board of Trustees of the EAS Trademark Capital Global Fund, a separate series of the Northern Lights Fund Trust, has decided to liquidate the fund as of January 15, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Mutual Funds, ETFs Take in $3 Billion

For the week ending Wednesday, December 26, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds reported net inflows of $3 billion, excluding the inflows of $18.2 billion to money market accounts, according to data from Lipper.

"Those investors who did not feel that cash would be the best place to end the year continued to look toward equity funds (+$3.0 billion net) and, more specifically, equity ETFs; that group accounted for $2.5 billion of the total inflows," wrote Matthew Lemieux, senior analyst at Lipper.

Northern Trust Fires TCW

This holiday season has been a mixed bag for TCW Group.

The firm recently ramped up its alternative business by acquiring two firms and hiring a new executive to head its initiatives.

However, last month the Board of Trustees of the Northern Multi-Manager Funds approved the termination of TCW as a sub-advisor to the Northern Multi-Manager Mid Cap Fund effective December 27, 2012, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

PRODUCTS

Kansas Hedge Fund Offers Alt Mutual Fund

Leawood, KS-based Cognios Capital is breaking into the mutual fund space via an alternative offering.

The firm last week unveiled the launch of its maiden mutual fund, Cognios Market Neutral Large Cap Fund, which aims to outperform the S&P 500 Index by buying and selling short large capitalization U.S. equities.

ARRIVALS

Gundlach Hires Former TCW Equity PMs

DoubleLine Capital is starting the New Year with a pair of new hires from an old rival.

Brendt Stallings and Husam Nazer have joined the firm as portfolio managers and partners in DoubleLine Equity LP, a newly created affiliate of DoubleLine, as the firm expands its product line-up into equity investment strategies.

Pioneer Snags Former Franklin PM

Pioneer Investments has named David Glazer portfolio manager of the Pioneer Global Equity Fund (GLOSX), effective December 31, 2012. In this newly created position, Glazer joins Marco Pirondini, Head of Equities, U.S., who currently serves as a PM on the fund.