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Industry Highlights and Trends

– This week's roundup of notable industry news includes how fear over Fed interest rate hikes spurred investors to withdraw billions from bond ETFs this month.

Fed’s Fischer Wants More Attention on Asset Managers

– Fischer said regulators must be attuned to the growth and evolution of the asset management industry after funds “that track the returns of indexes of relatively illiquid assets have mushroomed in size.”

BlackRock Urges Stress Tests in FSOC Query of Asset Managers

– BlackRock endorsed stress tests of mutual funds and reiterated its view that individual asset managers don’t pose a risk to the financial system.

Oaktree’s Marks Warns Liquid-Alternative Funds Won’t Deliver

– Howard Marks said the impact on liquidity of ETFs, liquid alternatives and new rules designed to stop banks from trading with their own money has yet to be tested.

Data Management Can Tap Transparency's Potential

– A paradigm shift in operational strategy and approaches to managing data is needed that can only be put in motion by leaders with the imagination to believe that we really can deliver data to investors in real-time.

Pimco Still Favors European Long Bonds

– While raising its forecasts for growth and inflation in Europe, Pimco expects long-dated yields to be further cut by the European Central Bank’s bond-buying program.

Tailoring Cloud Services for Cautious Firms

– Having already developed cloud-born software for companies in industries dealing with sensitive and highly regulated data, including energy, education and healthcare, upstart technology firm Box is looking to add asset management firms to its client roster.

Dizzying Pre-IPO Tech Values Spurred by Rush of Hedge-Fund Money

– Hedge funds and mutual funds that once shunned venture-style deals are flocking to late-stage technology startups, paying 15 to 18 times projected sales for the year ahead in recent private-funding rounds

'Shadow Bank' Claims Stir Debate at ICI Forum

– The perceived threat of asset managers operating as a shadow banking system, thereby needing bank-like regulatory oversight from the Fed, produced the strongest commentary at the ICI forum, as key speakers spoke of pushing back against any attempt to entwine firms into further government oversight.

Treasury ETF Loses Record $6.1 Billion by Betting on Rate Rise

– The ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury fund has lost $6.1 billion of investor money since its inception in 2008, more than any other ETF has lost during its existence.

Industry Highlights and Trends

– This week's notable news from the asset management industry includes a recent SEC roundtable meeting where some participants discussed the potential "unintended consequences" of universal proxy ballots, global ETP flows in February reached a record $50 billion, the fastest start to any year on record, and leadership at Vanguard were tasked with new roles within the firm.

ETF Manager F-Squared Said to Cut Staff After Settlement

– F-Squared Investments, which last year admitted to misleading investors about its performance, has eliminated about 25% of its staff, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

If You Don't Have a Chief Data Officer, Get One Fast

– The time has come to create the position of chief data officer to manage the tidal wave of data-based regulations and reporting and implement a concrete data strategy - both to meet requirements but also more effectively make investment decisions and streamline back-, middle- and front-office operations.

Credit Markets Rejoice on Fed Signal Low Rates Will Last Longer

– Credit markets are getting a second wind, thanks to a Federal Reserve that’s suddenly not as confident the economy is strong enough to weather a steady rise in interest rates.

The Fastest-Growing ETFs

– ETFs continue to be dominated by three big players: BlackRock’s iShares, Vanguard Group, and State Street, which collectively control 82% of the roughly $2 trillion invested in ETFs.