Eighty-five percent of buy-side firms are unprepared for regulatory changes, a survey by MoneyMate, a data management firm, found.

Among North American firms, 73% say the Dodd-Frank bill is a major concern, 30% are worried about 12b-1 reforms, and 25% are focused on money market fund reforms. In Europe, 60% are most concerned with UCITS IV, as well as the AIFM Directive and Newcits.

Among all respondents, 75% say the regulatory reforms will impact their firm's data management processes, and although 66% say their data management system delivers product information in a timely matter, many are still using manual processes.

"The results of this survey clearly show that firms are struggling to prepare for the enforcement of regulatory reform, particularly in terms of their product data," said Ronan Brennan, chief technology officer of MoneyMate. "Firms must address their ability to comply with regulatory changes."


Global ETF Assets Surge 6.7% to $1.4 Trillion

Exchange-traded fund assets around the world surged by 6.7% in the first quarter to $1.399 trillion, with investors pouring a net $41.4 billion into ETFs in the first quarter-more than double their investments in the first quarter of 2010, BlackRock reported.

"Net inflows in the first quarter indicate that the exchange-traded fund/exchange-traded product industry is off to a much faster start this year, since the quarter is historically slow in terms of net new assets," said Deborah Fuhr, global head of ETF research and implementation strategy at BlackRock.

BlackRock also said there are now 2,605 ETFs on the market from 142 providers, trading on 48 exchanges around the world, up from 2,131 products from 123 providers, trading on 42 exchanges in the first quarter of 2010. Combining ETFs and ETPs, there are 3,724 products from 178 providers, trading on 52 exchanges, up from 2,849 products from 147 providers, trading on 44 exchanges in the first quarter of 2010.

"In 2011's first quarter, global investment markets were shaken by a range of extraordinary events-from social and political unrest throughout the Middle East and northern Africa, to unpredictable weather and the still-unresolved nuclear event in Japan following a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami," Fuhr said. "In this period, $41.4 billion of net new assets flowed into a broad spectrum of ETF products as investors responded to these events and were able to implement appropriate, highly focused investment strategies in a timely fashion."


Four in 10 Don't Expect To Ever afford Retirement

Four in 10 working Americans say they will never be able to afford to retire, a Harris Interactive survey of 1,005 adults for the AICPA found. In addition, 55% do not know how much they will need to afford retirement, and among those who think they know, they are low-balling the figures. Asked how much they would need for a 20-year retirement starting at age 65, those earning $50,000-$75,000 gave a median estimate of $250,000.



Quote of the Week

"Investors are starting to return to the market and the trauma of the global financial crisis is beginning to heal. As long as the US economic recovery slowly gains momentum, we should see steady demand for U.S. equity funds in 2011."

-Avi Nachmany

Director of Research

Strategic Insight

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