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Executive Briefings


NEWS SCAN

Pioneer Reshuffles Fund Lineup

Pioneer Investments is reshuffling its fund lineup including reorganizing four domestic equity funds and liquidating another.

Initially, the Pioneer Research Fund, a 4-star rated fund, will reorganize into the 1-star rated Pioneer Value Fund, with the combined fund having the same investment strategies as the Pioneer Research Fund, which bets on companies with long-term capital growth. The combined fund will be named Pioneer Core Equity Fund.

Hennessy's AUM Jump 287%

Hennessy Advisors closed out 2012 with a huge ramp up in assets thanks to its acquisition of funds from FBR Funds.

The initial agreement, signed in June 2012, had Hennessy paying $28.7 million for the FBR assets. Once completed, the transaction will give Hennessy total assets under management of more $2.7 billion. In addition, several FBR portfolio managers, including Dave Ellison, FBR president and chief investment officer, will join Hennessy Funds to continue managing the portfolios.

WisdomTree Grows AUM to $20B

It's $20 billion and counting for exchange-traded fund purveyor WisdomTree Investments.

The firm announced last week that it passed the $20 billion mark this month, good for seventh place among ETF shops by AUM. It currently manages 46 ETFs covering equities, currency income, fixed income and alternatives asset classes. WisdomTree launched its first ETFs in June 2006.

Money Funds Drop $15 Billion

Mutual funds overall may have enjoyed a hot week of flows. But not so for money market mutual funds, which lost assets across all categories the week ended Jan. 16, according to the Investment Company Institute.

Money market mutual fund assets fell to $2.7 trillion, a decrease of $15.19 billion from the week prior.

FSOC Extends Money Fund Deadline

The Financial Stability Oversight Council has extended the comment period for proposed recommendations for money market mutual fund reforms.

According to a statement, the extension came at the request of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Elisse Walter. FSOC voted to extend the comment period until February 15 to allow the public more time to review, consider, and comment on the proposed recommendations.

PRODUCTS

More Life for Schwab Target-Date Funds

Charles Schwab has added five new funds to its retirement lineups.

The company added three new funds to its Schwab Target Funds target-date fund portfolio and two new funds to its line-up of collective trust funds for retirement plans.

Janus Launches Alternatives Fund

Janus Capital Group has launched the Janus Diversified Alternatives Fund (DAF), which will bet on the equity, fixed income, commodity, and currency asset classes.

According to a Jane Ingalls, spokesperson for the firm, Janus launched the strategy "to address a common challenge among investors: creating a portfolio that is truly diverse and offers effective risk management."

First Trust Bets on Junk Bonds, Senior Loans

First Trust Advisors has launched the First Trust Short Duration High Income Fund.

The fund utilizes a short-duration strategy to bet on senior loans and high-yield bonds.

Altegris Preps Multi-Strat, Alt Bond Funds

Altegris is looking to add a pair of alternative mutual funds to its portfolio in March. According to Dick Pfister, Managing Director, Global Sales and Consulting for Altegris, the firm will launch the Altegris Multistrategy Fund and the Altegris Credit Long/Short Fund on March 1. The multi-strat fund will have exposure to current Altegris funds including the Altegris Macro Strategy Fund (MCRAX) and the Altegris Equity Long Short Fund (ELSAX).

RESEARCH

Institutions Warm to SRI Funds

Institutional investors are currently showing more interest in environmental, social, and governance investing, according to new research from Boston-based global analytics firm Cerulli Associates.

"We have found that many large public pension funds are adopting processes for integration of ESG investments into their portfolio," stated Michele Giuditta, associate director at Cerulli. "As institutional markets become increasingly competitive, asset managers are finding ways to diversify their offerings and socially responsible investing is one form of diversification we are seeing."

ARRIVALS

F-Squared Snags Ex-SSgA, Putnam Risk Chief

Jacques Longerstaey has joined F-Squared Investments as a senior vice president of investments. He reports to Richard Weed, managing director of alternative investments. Zach Kouwe, a spokesman for the firm, confirmed Longerstaey's appointment and said that it is a new role at the firm, focused primarily on developing F-Squared's institutional business. "Given the size of F-Squared, he will be doing a lot of other things, from working on thought leadership pieces to overseeing the trading functions of the firm," he said.

U.S. Bancorp Expands Alternative Team

Brett Meili recently joined U.S. Bancorp Fund Services as legal counsel to provide support for the organizations' growing alternative investment products and services.

Prior to joining U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, Meili served as the chief compliance officer and anti-money laundering reporting officer of Stark Investments, an international, multi-strategy hedge fund complex. He also has mutual fund and separate account experience, having served as a senior counsel at the Strong family of mutual funds.

RiverNorth Boosts Portfolio Unit

Jay Nolan has joined RiverNorth Capital Management as a portfolio specialist to act as a liaison between investors and portfolio managers.

Prior to joining RiverNorth, Nolan served as a senior research analyst at Pitcairn, a Philadelphia-based multi-family office.

Pyxis Hires Ex-Artio Wholesaler

Dallas-based Pyxis Capital has added a wholesaler to cover the New York Metropolitan area.

Jason Coburn has joined the firm from Artio Global Management where he was responsible for business development and client service on the east coast targeting broker-dealers, independent advisors, private bank, private wealth firms, RIAs and family offices across a variety of products and asset classes.

Hartford Unveils Distribution Chief

Hartford Mutual Funds has named Jac McLean as head of distribution, a newly created position, responsible for retail sales, institutional sales and key account management.

McLean began his career at MFS Fund Distributors and most recently served as head of U.S. retail and offshore sales at Eaton Vance.


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