Scandal-tainted mutual fund firm Pilgrim Baxter & Associates announced Friday that it has changed its name to Liberty Ridge Capital, in a move the company said "signifies a new direction for the firm, which over the past year has implemented several new strategic initiatives." Invesco announced a similar move, changing all its funds into AIM Investments funds.
After a whirlwind year that has seen the firm dish out $100 million to settle charges of market timing, the company decided to change its name without altering any of its funds. The Wayne, Pa.-based firm has already lost founders Harold Baxter and Gary Pilgrim, each of whom was implicated in the scandal.
"Weve instituted significant reforms since the departure of Pilgrim Baxters founders last year, and were committed to providing our employees an opportunity to define a new identity for the firm, said CEO David Bullock.
The move was not a surprise to industry experts, including Morningstar analyst Paul Herbert. "There was a lot of brand equity lost over not just the past year, but over time in the investing community with the name Pilgrim Baxter," Herbert said in an interview with CBS MarketWatch.
For Invesco, the subsidiary of London-based Amvescap, all 17 U.S. mutual funds will now be distributed under the AIM Investments label, effective later this month, and starting Oct. 15, Invesco funds will all take on the AIM name. Earlier this month, the two settled improper trade allegations for $451 million, and accepted a $500,000 penalty and two-year industry ban for CEO Ray Cunningham.