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Executive Briefings


NEWS SCAN

Guggenheim Axes Nine ETFs

Guggenheim Investments is liquidating nine exchange-traded funds to make room for other "products that have demonstrated the most marketplace demand."

The average size of the nine closing ETFs is $16 million, for a total of $144 million, roughly 1% of Guggenheim's total $13.7 billion in exchange-traded assets as of Jan. 31, according to the firm.

Gross Digs Deep to Fight Breast Cancer

Bill Gross' bank account may be $2 million lighter but it's going to a good cause.

Newport Beach, Calif.-based Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian earlier this month received the donation from the Gross Family Foundation to establish an endowed chair in honor of Dr. Melvin Silverstein, medical director of the Breast Care Center at Hoag.

Legg Mason and Clearbridge Merge a Fund

One month into their new relationship, Legg Mason Capital Management and ClearBridge Investments are merging two of its funds into one.

The Legg Mason subsidiaries, which announced plans to merge its operations in mid-January, will merge Legg Mason Capital Management All Cap (SPAAX) with ClearBridge Large Cap Value (SINAX) on or around July 19, pending shareholder approval, according to a Morningstar report.

RS Investments Dumps Money Market Fund

There will be one less money market fund come May.

The Board of Trustees of San Francisco-based RS Investment Trust has approved the liquidation of the RS Money Market Fund (GCMXX) on May 17, according to a regulatory filing. The fund was launched in September 1982 and managed some $452 million as of the end of December 2012.

Fund Managers View 2013 with "Guarded Optimism"

"Guarded optimism" is how a new survey from Towers Watson characterizes fund managers' views on investing in 2013.

According to The Global Survey of Investment and Economic Expectations, fund managers are "more optimistic" about the prospect for equity returns. However, they continue to view world growth and medium-term government bonds with hesitation, as they still expect a sovereign debt default in the Eurozone and fear weak fiscal conditions in the U.S., U.K. and Japan.

Plan Sponsors Increasingly Look to Outsource CIOs

New research from Boston-based global analytics firm Cerulli Associates is reinforcing the benefits of outsourcing the chief investment officer function.

According to Cerulli, corporations are increasingly focused on de-risking their pensions, resulting in sponsors investing within a liability-driven investment framework. Cerulli believes outsourcing providers with extensive expertise in tactical oversight, managing risks for growth, and hedging portions of a portfolio will continue to find opportunities from under-resourced plan sponsors.

Money Funds Lose $12 Billion

Total money market mutual fund assets decreased by $12.32 billion to $2.679 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, Feb. 13, according to the Investment Company Institute.

Retail money market funds dropped $4.89 billion to $911.05 billion.

Lipper: Mutual Fund Flows Slowing

Mutual funds continue to draw new money, although investors seem to be waning in enthusiasm following President Barack Obama's second-term State of the Union address.

Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, excluding money market funds, drew net inflows of $4.4 billion for the week ended Feb. 13, according to Matthew Lemieux of Lipper. Equity funds fell in popularity somewhat, but continued to draw flows. Overall, the group added $559 million in net flows.

Morningstar Finds Little Value in AllianceBernstein's Fund

AllianceBernstein Discovery Value Fund's recent fee hike has earned it a downgrade from a Bronze to Neutral rating by Morningstar.

According to Morningstar analyst David Falkof, in 2012 AllianceBernstein lifted this fund's fee cap, which had kept expenses on all of the share classes well below the averages for their similarly sold peer groups since 2005.

"But while the fund's approach and management team has been steady, its now less-attractive fees pose a higher hurdle for outperforming peers on a risk-adjusted basis," he wrote.

Goldman Reopens Mid Cap Fund

Goldman Sachs Asset Management is opening up the flood gates to its Goldman Sachs Mid Cap Value Fund (GCMCX, GSMCX, GCMRX) on March 4, according to a regulatory filing.

The $8.5 billion fund is managed by Andrew Braun and Sean Gallagher. It launched in August 1995 and sports an expense ratio of 75 basis points.

PRODUCTS

Fidelity Sets Forth with Active ETFs

Fidelity Investments has made its first big step in becoming a provider of actively managed ETFs.

The firm has filed for Fidelity Corporate Bond Fund (FCBFX). The firm's first actively managed fund will hold corporate bonds and be a sibling of Fidelity Corporate Bond Fund (FCBFX).

IndexIQ Preps More Passive ETFs

Rye Brook, NY-based IndexIQ is currently prepping a pair of index funds to add to its growing list of index exchange-traded funds.

According to a regulatory filing, the firm is looking to launch the IQ Fastest Growing Companies ETF and the IQ Innovation Leaders ETF within the next two months. Julie Abbett will serve as the portfolio manager of both funds.

Matthews Preps More Asia Funds

San Francisco-based Matthews International Capital Management is looking to add a pair of Asia-focused funds to its lineup.