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At Deadline

Fink Wants Managers to 'Answer the Call'

Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, wants the asset management industry and government to take the lead in propping up investors' morale in a flagging market.

BlackRock has started as a result a global, multi-media initiative to provide guidance and practical advice to investors struggling with low yields, volatile markets and uncertain returns.

The initiative includes a range of ongoing communications for retail and institutional investors, partners and financial advisors, as well as investor education and advertising in a variety of digital, print and social media around the world.

In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Fink urged others in the asset management industry, and business and government leaders, to work together to help reignite investment and growth through a focus on the long term.

"In this new world, we can help rebuild confidence, get markets moving again and restore growth by turning short-term savers into long-term investors," he said. "It's our responsibility as leaders of business, finance and government. All of us must answer the call."

Fink added: "We need to educate investors about confronting the growing gap between needs and resources for retirement. That means getting investors beyond the now inadequate 60/40 portfolio mix of stocks and bonds. In particular, companies have a moral responsibility to educate their employees. Shifting from a defined benefit to a defined contribution plan doesn't absolve them of that responsibility."

Total Return ETF Opens, 345,800 Shares at Noon

The much-awaited opening of trading in Pacific Investment Management Co.'s Total Return ETF arrived Thursday morning.

Missing at opening bell ceremonies at the New York Stock Exchange was PIMCO's founder and Co-Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross, who turned the original Total Return Fund into the world's largest mutual fund with more than $250 billion in assets.

By noon 345,800 shares had been traded. The ETF is designed to provide investors with another way to access PIMCO's Total Return strategy.

Bloomberg Data Service Gets $100M Makeover

Bloomberg introduced a "step change" in its core Bloomberg Professional market data business. The Bloomberg Next service will be what started out as the Bloomberg Terminal.

In this generation, simplicity and uniformity are fundamental goals in Bloomberg's design.

Answers are provided to straightforward English entries such as: "IBM EBITDA 1999 Fourth Quarter.'' Standardized color coding and screen cues provide uniform interaction with the service.

Roughly 310,000 subscribers currently use the service, worldwide.