NEWS SCAN

MFS Looks For Internal Sales Help

Boston-based MFS Investment Management is looking to beef up its internal sales team in light of its recent rebranding efforts, according to Jim Jessee, president at MFS Fund Distributors, Inc., the distribution arm of the firm's U.S. fund business.

According to Jessee, the firm's external sales force in the U.S. covering the defined contribution investment only and Registered Investment Advisors channels equal some 90 individuals and its internal sales force has approximately 60 people. "We are actively hiring on the internal sales force side," Jessee told Money Management Executive.

Pimco Total Return Rakes in $6B

Bill Gross' $260.9 billion Pimco Total Return Fund (PTTRX) saw inflows of some $1.36 billion last month, bringing the fund's year-to-date intake to $5.9 billion through June 30, Dow Jonesreports, citing data from Morningstar Inc.

This is a turnabout from last year when the fund saw outflows of $4.97 billion for the entire year. The fund has returned 5.73% year-to-date, besting the 2.37% on the Barclays Capital US Aggregate Bond Index with bets on mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bonds, according to Morningstar. The fund has reportedly beaten 96% of its rivals so far this year, a sharp reversal from last year, when its 4.16% return trailed nearly 90% of its peers and was below the 7.84% return on the benchmark.

Janus Opens Up Shop in La Ville-Lumière

Denver-based Janus Capital International has opened an office in Paris, its sixth office in Europe, Investment Europe reports. The firm currently also has offices in London, Frankfurt, Milan, The Hague and Zurich.

In an interview, Augie Cheh, president of Janus Capital International, said the office "marks an important step in our international growth." Agar will be supported by Julien Froger on the wholesale and retail segment, and by Olivier Systchenko with institutional clients. Julie Tedeschi will continue to support the team in client relationship management from London.

MainStay Takes On 5-Star Alt Fund

The Board of Trustees of Trust for Professional Managers has approved a reorganization of the Marketfield Fund, an equity and fixed income long/short mutual fund, into the MainStay Marketfield Fund, a newly created series of MainStay Funds Trust.

After the reorg, which is expected to take place on October 5, New York Life Investment Management LLC will serve as investment adviser for the new Fund and Marketfield Asset Management, LLC will serve as sub-adviser for fund.

Schwab Offers iPhone Advisor App

Charles Schwab has rolled out an app for the iPhone for independent investment advisors who place assets in the custody of Schwab Advisor Services.

A separate Schwab Advisor Center app for the iPad is currently under development and will be available to advisors before the end of the year.

PRODUCTS

William Blair Closes International Growth Funds

William Blair & Company has turned off the spigot on the William Blair International Growth Fund and Institutional International Growth Fund, effective June 30.

According to Michelle Seitz, head of Investment Management at William Blair, the portfolio management team for the International Growth strategy now manages some $12.4 billion, of which the International Growth and Institutional International Growth Funds represent almost $4.8 billion.

"We believe that closing the International Growth strategy is in the best interest of clients," stated Seitz.

Hancock Shelves International Fund

The Board of Trustees of John Hancock Funds II - International Opportunities Fund has approved Invesco Advisers, Inc. as the fund's subadviser effective July 20, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Invesco will replace Marsico Capital Management, LLC.

In addition, the board approved a plan to liquidate the $227 million fund in November.

A firm spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the liquidation of the fund.

PIMCO Offers German Bond ETF

PIMCO has teamed up with Source UK Services Ltd. to launch an exchange-traded fund to bet on the German government bond market.

The Pimco German Government Bond Index Source ETF tracks the Markit iBoxx € Germany Index. The fund is registered for sale in the United Kingdom and across Europe. It is listed on the Deutsche Boerse.

Swan Cap Dives Into Mutual Funds

Durango, Colo.-based Swan Capital Management is introducing its maiden mutual fund, dubbed the Swan Defined Risk Fund, according to a Securities and Exchange filing.

The fund's "defined risk strategy" (DRS) is touted as an absolute return, market-neutral program "that does not rely on market timing or stock selection.''

Rather, the fund will bet on exchange-traded funds that invest in equity securities of large-cap companies.

"Using DRS, the adviser seeks to 'define risk' by seeking to protect against large losses by hedging equity ETFs through investments in protective long-term S&P 500 Index put options," according to the filing.

ARRIVALS

Eaton Vance Makes Internal Hire

Eaton Vance Investment Counsel, a subsidiary of Eaton Vance Corp., has hired William M. Gillen to the position of vice president, business development, responsible for enhancing EVIC's presence in the marketplace and overall marketing efforts.

He will also manage select client relationships and report to David C. McCabe, president of EVIC.

BlackRock Names Archard its Canada Chief

BlackRock Asset Management's Toronto-based arm has crowned Noel Archard, the global asset management firm's current head of U.S. iShares, to succeed Bill Chinery as chief executive officer.

Archard, who discussed exchange-traded funds before the U.S. Senate's Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment last October, was appointed to take over for Chinery, a firm spokesperson confirmed.

TCW Finds Parking Space for Financial Diplomat

Los Angeles-based TCW has hired David Loevinger as managing director and sovereign analyst in the Emerging Markets Group.

The firm describes Loevinger as a veteran "financial diplomat" who served as a minister counselor for financial affairs at the U.S. embassy in Beijing while at the U.S. Treasury Department.

In his latest role at TCW, Loevinger will leverage his background and network to help the firm develop its Asian initiatives. He was previously an economist for the International Monetary Fund and also worked in the office of the IMF's U.S. executive director.

Pioneer Reveals its Manifest Destiny

Pioneer Investments has made a series of new hires and promotions that are part of its plan to increase its U.S. retail sales team by approximately 25% in 2012.

In total, 16 new positions were added, bringing the internal and external wholesaling sales staff to 81, an increase of 23%. The additions include 15 new wholesalers supporting wealth management firms and independent financial advisor firms in different regions throughout the U.S.

STATISTICS

7,637 was the total number of mutual funds in the market in 2011, up less than one percent from the previous year.

Out of that total, 4,581 were equity funds; 495 were hybrid funds; 1,929 were bond funds and 632 were money market funds.

Source: Investment Company Institute

$129M constituted the total net redemptions from equity funds for the week ended June 27.

Large-cap value funds had $563 million of outflows during that week. Meanwhile, multi-cap growth funds saw inflows of $460 million.

Source: Jeff Tjornehoj of Lipper.

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