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New Product Highlights

– This past week saw a number of new offerings in exchange traded products and funds from Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, KraneShares and FirstTrust, among others. Also, Van Eck Global closes five international-themed funds.

Counting on Gross to Turn Around Janus

– Janus shares surged 43% on Sept. 26, their biggest one-day gain ever, after it announced that Bill Gross would join the firm from Pimco. Hiring Gross was the boldest step yet in an almost five-year effort by Richard M. Weil to attract new money and change the public perception of Janus, a firm still known primarily for its growth-equity funds.

Industry Highlights and Trends

– The industry saw Bill Gross attracting $769 million to Janus, the global ETP market breaking an asset record, a prediction on how much of 401(k) contributions that target-date funds will capture by the end of the decade and a J.P. Morgan executive joining Wilton, Conn.,-based Commonfund as CEO.

Carlson Plans Energy Hedge Funds to Exploit Oil Price Decline

– Carlson Capital, a $9 billion investment firm, plans to start three hedge funds to invest in the debt and equity of energy companies after oil prices slumped to their lowest in five years.

What Eaton Vance's Win Means for Providers

– Regulatory approval of Eaton Vance's non-transparent ETF has its industry competitors closely studying its offering to determine how its proposal succeeded where others failed, and whether they need to develop and offer their own version.

Money Manager Profits Exceed Pre-Crisis Levels

– Money managers’ profits in North America last year surpassed pre-crisis levels, rebounding to $34 billion on asset and revenue growth, according to a study by McKinsey & Co. Profits were 18% above the pre-crisis peak in 2007 after assets reached $30 trillion. Profits at asset managers globally also moved past 2007 levels, increasing 15% to $65 billion from 2007. Assets reached a record $64 trillion last year.

Leading John Hancock to New Ground

– John Hancock Investments president and CEO Andrew Arnott discusses the strategic decisions the firm made as it reengineered itself following its 2004 acquisition by Canadian insurer Manulife Financial, the challenges facing asset managers in answering alternative investment demand and even potential competition from non-traditional players entering the asset management space.

Asia Hedge Funds Survive in Year of Pain for Global Industry

– Stung by poor returns and large redemptions, 889 hedge funds worldwide shut in the first 11 months of the year, above the annual average of 810 in the five years since the global financial crisis of 2008, according to figures from research firm Eurekahedge. In contrast, 56 Asia-focused funds had closed by the end of November, less than half the average 135 closures in the previous five years.

ETF Industry Races to Next Asset Milestone

– With ETF assets now poised to cross the $2 trillion mark in the U.S., industry experts gathered at the annual IMN global indexing and ETF conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., marveled at the rapid growth, innovation and market acceptance of exchange traded products in the last decade.

Hedge Funds Bullish on Gold

– The net-long position in gold rose 31% to 104,532 futures and options contracts in the week ended Dec. 9, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. “We are seeing safety trade toward gold,” says Peter Sorrentino, a senior vice president who helps oversee $1.8 billion at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati.

Industry Highlights and Trends

– The industry saw ETF inflows break a record, Russell Indexes liquidating a fund and mergers between asset manager service providers.

Is Active Management Best Kept Small?

– Research into understanding the human element of investment decisions exposes a flaw that, according to AthenaInvest CEO and director of research Tom Howard, currently exists in active management: despite corporate advertising to the contrary, he says, most fund managers can only be active toward a certain number of picks and fund volume.

Gold ETF Buyers Return as Global Equities, Energy Fall

– As a rout in energy prices spreads to global equities, investors are returning to gold to take cover. Assets in the SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest bullion exchange-traded product, rose yesterday at the fastest pace since July. The holdings are up almost 1% in December, snapping four straight months of losses.

Why Private Funds Need Robust Infrastructure

– Fund managers need to focus on more than the strategies they intend to execute. They must also structure their funds and organizations in ways that address both increasing regulation and investors' concerns about the safekeeping of assets.

CIBC Considering Offer for LSE’s Russell Asset Management Unit?

– Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is weighing a bid for Frank Russell Co.’s asset management arm, a business the London Stock Exchange Group is preparing to sell early next year, people with knowledge of the matter said.