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Executive Briefings


NEWS SCAN

Stadion Joins Hands with ALPS

Stadion Money Management has found itself a new distribution partner.

The Watkinsville, Ga.-based copmany announced last week that it has signed a distribution agreement with ALPS Distributors. ALPS replaces Stadion's current distributor, Ultimus Fund Distributors.

F-Squared's CEO Talks Up Growth

F-Squared Investments last week announced that its assets under management topped $10 billion as of January 4, up from approximately $5.6 billion in the previous year.

In an interview with Money Management Executive, Howard Present, president and chief executive officer of F-Squared Investments, said the firm's growth in 2012 came primarily from its Advisor Solutions and Alternatives business units.

TCW's Jaffee Staying Put, For Now

The TCW/Carlyle deal is drawing closer, with speculation of potential defections from the bond shop swirling.

Recently, Diane Jaffee, Group Managing Director at Trust Company of the West, is believed to have declined to reup her contract, which runs out at the end of the year, according to an industry executive.

SPY Turns 20

State Street Global Advisors last week marked the 20th anniversary of the first exchange-traded fund, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by producing a six-page accountof the early years of the ETF.

SPY: The Idea That Spawned an Industry is a look back at how a $6.5 million fund evolved into the world's largest ETF with more than $123 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2012.

ING Fires Brandes, del Rey

The three-star rated ING International Value Fund is unloading two subadvisors at the end of March.

According to a regulatory filing, the fund's Board of Trustees earlier this month approved the removal of Brandes Investment Partners and del Rey Global Investors as subadvisors effective March 26. Brandes and del Rey each currently manage approximately 25% of the fund's assets, respectively, with the remainder of the fund's assets currently being managed by ING Investment Management Co., which will take over as the sole subadvisor on April 11.

Wanted: Legg Mason Looks for Renters

Legg Mason is looking to reconfigure its office space.

The Baltimore-based money manager is consolidating its space at its Harbor East, Md., headquarters, according to The Baltimore Sun. While Legg will remain on six floors, it will sublease 78,000 square feet on three floors at the Harbor East building.

Institutions to Pick Up Pace on ETF Usage

Institutional investors are expected to increase their use of exchange-traded funds and institutional demand for fixed income ETFs are expected to rise, according to new findings from iShares.

Specifically, iShares found that among global asset managers, the usage of ETFs in their portfolios, according to self-reported regulatory filings grew from $105 billion in Q3 2011 to $125 billion in Q3 2012.

Vanguard Changes Up Fees on 23 Mutual Funds

Expense ratios have changed for 23 Vanguard Group mutual funds, according to a firm statement.

While Vanguard lowered fees for most of the funds, two funds: Growth and Income (Admiral and Investors shares) and the Morgan Growth Fund experienced fee increases of 2 basis points each.

"Other investment firms may lower costs as a business strategy to attract assets. For Vanguard, our unique client-owned corporate structure is what drives the low costs of our funds," according to the firm.

Gundlach Headlines Altegris Alternatives Summit

Who better to help kickoff an educational alternatives summit series than Jeffrey Gundlach?

The DoubleLine Capital founder, chief executive officer and chief investment officer will give the keynote speech for the 2013 Altegris Investment Summit, which kicks off in Los Angeles on Feb. 20.

PRODUCTS

Russell Unveils Defensive Indexes

Russell Indexes last week launched the Russell High Efficiency Defensive Indexes, which it touts as "the first and only series of low volatility benchmarks to offer low targeted tracking error." The index was developed in collaboration with Westpeak Global Advisors, an independent research and investment management company.

The Russell Defensive Index ranks constituents based on an assigned stability score and weights them according to market capitalization. The indexes are rebalanced on a quarterly basis.

AdvisorShares Sees Golden Opportunities

AdvisorShares is looking to launch a quartet of exchange-traded funds that will bet on gold utilizing local currencies.

According to a regulatory filing, the firm is looking to launch the Gartman Gold/Yen ETF (GYEN), the Gartman Gold/British Pound ETF (GGBP), and the Gartman Gold/Euro ETF (GEUR) within the next few months. New York-based Treesdale Partners is the funds' subadvisor and Ade Odunsi will serve as the portolio manager.

ARRIVALS

Aquila Lands Rocky Mountain Wholesaler

The Aquila Group of Funds has appointed Craig DiRuzzo as a regional sales manager focusing on the Tax-Free Fund of Colorado, a municipal bond fund that invests in Colorado's municipal and state projects, and Aquila's two nationally distributed mutual funds-Aquila Three Peaks High Income Fund and Aquila Three Peaks Opportunity Growth Fund.