INDUSTRY HIGHLIGHTS

BlackRock Shakes Up Leadership

BlackRock is expanding its top leadership that will result in new roles for at least 10 of its senior executives, the company announced. The move marks the largest management reorganization since 2013, when New York-based BlackRock added eight members to its global executive committee and shook up its investment unit to boost returns, BlackRock says. Charles Hallac, previously chief operating officer, was named co-president and Rob Goldstein, who currently heads the institutional client business, and the firm's Solutions advisory unit was appointed COO, according to a memo sent to BlackRock staff.

Asset Managers in Asia Seek New Sales Approach

Asset managers in Asia are looking to differentiate their approach to mutual fund sales because of the dominance of banks and securities houses across the distribution landscape, according to Cerulli Associates. These asset managers are turning to online money market fund platforms in China. Other alternative distribution channels include direct sales platforms in Hong Kong, mobile phones in India, and working with regional banks in Japan, Cerulli says. "It is an industry that is often viewed as stable and relatively unexciting, and one in which copycats abound, perhaps because of an unwillingness to embark on paths that are not tried and tested due to cost restraints or a lack of conviction on the part of management," says Chin Chin Quah, a senior analyst at Cerulli.

SEC Seeks Comment on Target Date Funds

The SEC is seeking comment on a recommendation by its Investor Advisory Committee regarding disclosure by target date mutual funds, the agency announced. In 2010, the SEC proposed a rule that would require marketing materials for target date funds to include a graphical or tabular depiction of changes in the fund's asset allocation over time" The SEC is reopening the comment period on its 2010 proposal to request comment on the committee's recommendation that the SEC develop a glide path illustration based on a standardized measure of fund risk, which would replace or supplement what it previously proposed, the agency says.


RESEARCH

Alts Managers Skeptical on JOBS Act

Alternative investment fund managers are often doubtful about the JOBS Act, according to findings from a recent survey by Preqin. Both hedge fund and private equity fund managers cited additional cost as a main obstacle regarding the JOBS Act, with 42% of hedge fund managers naming this issue, and 24% of private equity firms, the study finds. "At this time, alternative asset managers are being rather conservative in their attitude toward direct marketing; however only time will tell how the industry will embrace the opportunities that JOBS has opened up for private funds and it will be interesting to see how this sector devlops over the next five years," says Amy Bensted, head of hedge fund products at Preqin.

ETF & ETPs Rebound in March

Flows into ETFs and ETPs listed globally rebounded in March gathering net inflows of $11 billion. When combined with a small positive market performance in the month, assets in the global ETF/ETP industry pushed to a new record high of $2.45 trillion, according to preliminary findings from ETFGI's Q1 2014 Global ETF and ETP industry insights report. "March was the first month in 2014 when equity exposures gathered more net new assets than fixed income," says Deborah Fuhr, managing partner at ETFGI. "Outside the U.S., developed markets declined slightly while emerging markets gained 3%."


PRODUCTS

NASDAQ & Chaikin Launch New Indexes

Three new indexes have been launched by the Nasdaq OMX Group and Chaikin Analytics, the companies state. These funds are rules-based, quantitatively enabled investment strategies, designed to outperform their respective benchmarks and are based on the Chaikin Power Gauge, a multi-factor quantitative model, according to Nasdaq. Referred to as enhanced alpha indexes, the NASDAQ Chaikin Power Indexes filter the Nasdaq US 300 IndexSM, Nasdaq US 1500 IndexSM and Nasdaq US Broad Dividend Achievers IndexSM utilizing the Chaikin Power Gauge, NASDAQ states. The NASDAQ Chaikin Power Indexes are available to fund managers, advisors and investors for licensing and implementation through separately managed accounts and ETFs.

"Marc Chaikin has been a pioneer in equity analytics on Wall Street for decades, and Chaikin Analytics provides investors with the unbiased investment tools, analytics and strategies our customers demand," says John Jacobs, executive vice president of Nasdaq OMX Global Information Services. "The Nasdaq Chaikin Power Indexes offer investment and asset managers unique, quantitatively-enabled strategies to provide client portfolios with enhanced index performance while maintaining the liquidity and transparency standards they require."

ETF Securities Expands Into Index Business

ETF Securities Group has announced the launch of ETF Securities' Index unit, ETFs Indices. The suite of Commodity Indices launched by ETFs Indices includes four composite strategy indices based on commodity futures prices. "Commodity futures display unique characteristics unlike those seen in equities and bonds," said Dan Raab, head of indices and managed futures at ETF Securities U.S. "Our new ETF Securities Index unit develops strategies designed to take advantage of common commodity behaviour patterns, aiming to generate returns from Long-Short, Spread, and Long-Only positions."

Proposed New Japan ETF

WisdomTree has put a Japan-focused dividend growth fund into registration, the company announced. The fund, to be known as WisdomTree Japan Dividend Growth Fund, will track WisdomTree Japan Dividend Growth Index, a fundamentally weighted index that generally comprises 300 companies, WisdomTree says.

 

ON THE MOVE

Two New Acquisitions for Global X

Global X Management Company has made two acquisitions and expanded its team. Louis Berruga has been appointed as COO of Global X from Jefferies, where he advised on mergers & acquisitions, capital raising and strategic planning for financial, the company announced. Global X also announced the appointment of Tom Lynch as senior compliance officer. Lynch served as CCO for Van Eck for six years where he was responsible for overseeing and directing the compliance functions for mutual funds, ETFs, hedge funds, broker dealers and advisors. "Over the past year, we have witnessed rapidly growing interest in our funds from institutional and retail investors alike, and we continue to grow our team and hone our laser-sharp focus in an effort to achieve the best results for our clients," says Bruno del Ama, CEO of Global X Funds. "Luis and Tom each bring exciting and fresh ideas and capabilities to the table, and we cannot wait to see what kind of impact they can have for our investors."

New Board Member for Hennessy Advisors'

Susan Weber Pomilia has been named to Hennessy Advisors' Board of Directors, the firm announced. Pomilia has 27 years of experience in the mortgage business, according to Hennessy Advisors. She was the managing partner and a top producing loan originator for First Security Loan Corporation for many years, the firm says. "We are very pleased and honored to welcome Susan to our Board," says Neil Hennessy, president, chairman and CEO of Hennessy Advisors.

 

STATISTICS

1.47% return for the average equity fund for the quarter.
Source: Lipper

$4.3B ETF/ETP inflows by Vanguard in March.
Source: Vanguard

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