Former ICI President David Silver Dies

David Silver, who served as president of the Investment Company Institute from 1977 to 1991, has died.

"David was a tireless advocate of funds and their shareholders,'' said ICI chairman Gregory Johnson in announcing Silver's passing at the outset of the fund industry advocacy group's annual general membership meeting last week.

Floating Asset Value 'No Good'

If the net asset value of a money market fund is forced to float, the ramifications on maintaining customer accounts are huge and could force them to move to other investments.

Severing the fixed value of a share of a money market mutual fund from its $1 mooring means that every move into or out of a stock or bond by a fund would have to be recorded as an individual trade, according to Randy Barnes, Senior Product Manager and Engagement Manager at ThomsonReuters Wealth Management, speaking at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association's 2013 Operations Conference.

Fidelity Woos Windows Phone Users

Fidelity Investments has rolled out a Windows 8 brokerage app for Windows Phone users to help them manage their investments on the go.

The app provides users access to their brokerage account watch lists, account information, real-time quotes and the ability to trade stocks, exchange-traded funds and mutual funds.

WisdomTree Reports Record Inflows, Revenues

WisdomTree Investments, an ETF sponsor and asset manager, reported net income of $7.9 million for the first quarter of 2013, up seven times from the year ago quarter and 50% from the fourth quarter of 2012.

The company's currency hedged Japanese equity strategy "led the entire ETF industry with $3.9 billion of net inflows in the first quarter," said WisdomTree CEO and President Jonathan Steinberg in a release.

PSX to Re-Launch as ETP Market in May

Nasdaq OMX Group said it expects the re-launch of its PSX exchange as an exchange-traded fund marketplace to take place in May.

Final approval of the refashioning of the "price size exchange" as a "price time" exchange focused on exchange-traded products must come from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The relaunch of PSX will create a second market that is focused on ETPs. NYSE Euronext's Arca exchange currently operates as an ETF-focused exchange. NYSE Arca has both the largest market share in exchange-traded trading among national exchanges and 93 percent of ETP listings.

PRODUCTS

Cerulli: Multistrategy Alt, Bank-Loan Funds Hot

Multistrategy alternative mutual funds experienced strong asset growth of 37.4% in 2012 compared to single strategy at 17%, according to Cerulli's latest U.S. Monthly Product Trends.

Meanwhile, bank-loan funds rose from the ninth-ranked flow category in 2012 to fourth as of February 2013 YTD, according to Cerulli. The majority of more than $97 billion in bank-loan fund assets reside in open-end mutual funds (85.4%), the consultancy said.

Direxion Inverts Two Emerging Market Indexes

Direxion has added two new leveraged inverse products to its repertoire. The Direxion Daily Brazil Bear 3x Shares (BRZS) seeks to capture 300% of the inverse performance of the MSCI Brazil 25/50 Index.

The Direxion Daily South Korea Bear 3x Shares (KORZ) seeks to capture 300% of the inverse performance of the MSCI Korea 25/50 Index.

iShares to Expand Lineup of Factor-based ETFs

iShares has registered a U.S. equities factor-based ETF called the MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF. The fund will add to the company's lineup of factor-based ETFs that track MSCI Indexes rolled out last month.

In April, iShares rolled out the iShares MSCI USA Momentum Factor ETF (MTUM), the iShares MSCI USA Size Factor ETF (SIZE) and the iShares MSCI USA Value Factor ETF (VLUE). All three ETFs charge just 0.15%, according to Morningstar. It's likely that fees for the new ETF will be in the same ballpark.

ARRIVALS

American Century Snags Ex-BlackRock Exec

American Century Investments has named former BlackRock/Barclays Global Investors executive Vinod Chandrashekaran senior vice president and director of quantitative research. He also is named co-portfolio manager for American Century's non-U.S. Systematic Large Cap Value (International Value) and non-U.S. Large Cap Core (International Core) strategies.

Reporting to chief investment officer for asset allocation and quantitative equity Scott Wittman, Chandrashekaran's appointment was effective April 22. He is based in Mountain View, Calif., home to the firm's quantitative equity portfolio management team.

"Vinod brings substantial quantitative expertise to his role, having developed, managed and enhanced security selection and risk models at various well-respected quantitative firms," stated Wittman.

Neuberger Berman Snaps Up Emerging Markets Debt Pros

Neuberger Berman has hired 22 emerging markets debt (EMD) investment professionals, 19 of whom have joined the firm from ING Investment Management, where they managed over $16 billion in EMD assets.

The new group's capabilities span hard and local currency mandates, as well as EMD corporate bond and dedicated Asian debt strategies. The investment staff of 12 portfolio managers, six credit analysts and four economists and strategists will operate from offices in the US, Europe and Asia, providing dedicated regional expertise and around-the-clock market coverage.

Neuberger Berman's emerging markets debt group will be led by Rob Drijkoningen, based in The Hague, and Gorky Urquieta, based in Atlanta. Among others joining the firm are five lead portfolio managers: Bart van der Made (The Hague), hard currency; Raoul Luttik (The Hague), local currency; Jennifer Gorgoll (Atlanta) and Nish Popat (The Hague), corporate bonds; and Prashan Singh (Singapore), Asia local bond portfolios. The portfolio managers have an average of 16 years of industry experience.

A spokesman for ING Investment Management did not return a call for comment by press time.

Sanford Bernstein Taps New Sales Head

Sanford Bernstein, AllianceBerstein's sell-side research arm, has a new head of sales. Rick Galiardo joins the company in the role, which includes responsibility for the firm's private label mutual fund sales. He reports to Robert van Brugge, chairman and CEO of Sanford Bernstein.

Galiardo was previously head of advice, guidance and research strategy for Merrill Lynch's Wealth Management division.

Galiardo is no stranger to Sanford Bernstein; he previously worked for the company. He first joined the firm in 1993 as an institutional salesperson and in 2001 became the firm's first product manager, finally being appointed co-head of the European business in 2005.

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