Category: Mutual

Champion for Public Health

Champion for Public Health

Steven Jonas of Stony Brook Medicine tells us more about his life.

“My ‘firm’ is located at my home office. I am a life-long writer. In the course of my 40-plus year-long career I have authored, co-authored, edited and co-edited 36 books (see my book-list on Amazon), as well as numerous columns/articles in the lay and professional periodical press. Although technically retired, I have not stopped writing and continue to do so in a variety of venues, on a variety of subjects.”

Recent successes for Steven include the publication of his 36th book, “Ending the ‘Drug War’; Solving the Drug Problem: The Public Health Approach.” The basic argument is that all of what he calls the Recreational Mood-Altering Drugs (the RMADs) — beginning with nicotine and alcohol, the two most harmful of them — should be treated in the same way.

To control/regulate their use so that their negative health effects can be significantly diminished, we should follow the model of one of the most successful non-communicable disease control programs ever, the U.S. National Smoking Cessation Program. Indeed, over time it has reduced the adult cigarette smoking rate in the United States from 45% in 1964 to 18% presently. And guess what? It hasn’t locked up one cigarette smoker. In the meantime, the “drug war” has had virtually no effect on the use of the “illicits” at which it is aimed.

Steven is his own boss. From chief cook and bottle washer to the single author of the firm. He describes the most immediate opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for him.

“The useless, indeed very harmful, ‘Drug War’ is about to be re-intensified by the incoming United States Attorney General. It has been enormously expensive since it was started by President Nixon in 1971, has been ineffective in controlling the use of the RMADs at which it is aimed, and had locked up hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug users.

The current drug policy reform movement focuses primarily on legalising marijuana. My proposal deals with bringing the use of all of the RMADs under control. By using tried-and-true public health methods it can be successful, at much less financial and social cost. I look forward to working with other interested parties, in my own country and internationally, to develop and implement the Public Health Approach to the Drug Problem.

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS, FNYAS Professor Emeritus, Stony Brook Medicine Dept. of Preventive Medicine and the Program in Public Health Stony Brook University c/o 450 Rte. 25A, PO Box 843 East Setauket, NY 11733 email: [email protected] Tel. + 1 631 473 7228 FAX + 1 631 473-5005

Sterling Capital Funds Rank at Top of Lipper Peers

Sterling Capital Funds Rank at Top of Lipper Peers

Twelve separate Sterling Capital Funds, representing over 70 percent of the funds’ assets under management in the Sterling Capital Fund family, finished in the top one-third of their peer group for the 10 years ended December 31, 2015.

The Sterling Capital Special Opportunities Fund (BOPIX) finished number one in the Lipper Multi-Cap Core category for 2015 and the Sterling Capital Total Return Bond Fund (BIBTX) finished in the top quartile for 1, 3, 5, and 10-years.

Lipper is a Thomson Reuters subsidiary and currently provides information and analysis of over 117,000 mutual funds, globally. Lipper Classification Methodology is holdings-based,with data taken as of six points in time – the current observation, as well as the past five semi-FiscalYear-End dates.

More emphasis (40 percent weight) is assigned to the current observation, decreasing down to a 7 percent weight for the oldest date analyzed. A Lipper universe benchmark compares the performance of a portfolio versus similarly managed products available in the marketplace (similar- as defined by Lipper). These universes represent the opportunity set for a prospective investor in a particular investment style.

Morningstar Reports U.S. Mutual Fund and ETF Asset Flows for October 2015

Morningstar Reports U.S. Mutual Fund and ETF Asset Flows for October 2015

Morningstar analysts have also published a research paper analyzing long-term investors’ mutual fund preferences as expressed in monthly asset flow data. The paper examines equity, fixed-income, and balanced funds globally to draw conclusions about how investors make investment decisions.

Highlights from Morningstar’s report about U.S. asset flows in October:
– Despite stock-market gains worldwide, taxable-bond funds led all asset classes in October with inflows of $16.6 billion, the highest intake for the category group since March 2015. Passively managed funds drove these inflows; active taxable-bond funds saw a $1.5 billion outflow.
– All category groups experienced active-fund outflows with the exception of municipal-bond and alternatives funds. International-equity funds continued to receive steady inflows, although smaller in magnitude than those seen earlier this year.
– In a complete reversal from September, high-yield and intermediate-term bond were among the top five categories with the greatest inflows after landing on the list of categories with the greatest outflows a month ago.

Each of the top-five actively managed funds in terms of October inflows were fixed-income funds: Fidelity Advisor® Total Bond, DoubleLine Total Return Bond, PIMCO Income, Northern High Yield Fixed Income, and Metropolitan West Total Return Bond.

Franklin Templeton slipped from the sixth to seventh spot on the list of largest asset managers after 11 consecutive months of outflows. BlackRock/iShares, with $15.0 billion, edged out Vanguard, with $14.7 billion, in terms of passive flows for the second straight month.

Morningstar estimates net flow for mutual funds by computing the change in assets not explained by the performance of the fund and net flow for ETFs by computing the change in shares outstanding. 

Key findings from the “What Factors Drive Investment Flows?” report:
– U.S. investors strongly prefer low-cost funds, but these preferences are virtually nonexistent outside of the United States.
– Indexed equity funds receive higher flows at the expense of active equity funds. The trend reverses for fixed-income and balanced funds, as investors globally favor active strategies.
– Investors expressed a strong preference globally for funds that invest in a socially conscious manner. Globally, equity funds that self-identify as socially responsible receive 0.40 percent greater flows per month than funds that do not.
– Investors globally respond to Morningstar ratings—both the quantitative Morningstar Rating™ (the “star rating”) and the qualitative Morningstar Analyst Rating™. Funds with a higher Morningstar Rating attract greater inflows than funds with lower ratings. The five-tiered Analyst Rating scale has three positive levels, indicating Morningstar Medalists—Gold, Silver, and Bronze—and has proved to be a strong asset flow indicator as well.
– Investors seek out funds from higher-quality firms, and a notable relationship exists between asset flows and portfolio manager tenure. Investors favor long-tenured managers and visible continuity of fund management, suggesting that funds with co-management and internal promotion practices are better insulated from the adverse effects of manager departure.

TMX Group to Introduce a New Mutual Funds Platform

TMX Group to Introduce a New Mutual Funds Platform

TMX Group has announced that it is expanding its services into a new business area that will extend the efficiencies of equities trading and settlement to the mutual fund industry. The TSX NAVex Platform will facilitate purchases and redemptions of mutual funds using TMX’s proven equities trading, clearing and settlement infrastructure.

By leveraging connectivity, systems and processes well established in the industry, the new platform will provide registered dealers with easy access to a broad range of investment funds. Mutual funds posted on the TSX NAVex platform will be visible to all participants who currently trade TSX-listed equities and ETFs, which coupled with inherent support for bulk trading, creates a new, efficient distribution channel for mutual fund manufacturers.

With over 160 years of experience in establishing and operating innovative market models, TMX is uniquely positioned to facilitate the next transformation in mutual fund processing. The concept behind TSX NAVex was developed in collaboration with select industry participants. To ensure that the final solution meets industry-wide needs and reflects industry best practices, TMX recently formed the TSX NAVex Working Group, which will help finalize the details of the offering.

“We are extremely excited to partner with a broad set of industry stakeholders and together create an industry-neutral solution that will benefit the whole market,” said Nick Thadaney, President & CEO, Global Equity Capital Markets, TMX Group. “We are very grateful for their ongoing insights, input and support.”

TMX’s centralized mutual fund solution, which is expected to launch in Q2 2016 subject to industry readiness, leverages the broad range of TMX’s assets and capabilities, including the settlement of transactions through CDS Clearing and Depository Services Inc. TMX Equity Transfer Services is also available to provide transfer agency services.

Nationwide America Launching Global Fixed-Income Mutual Funds

Nationwide America Launching Global Fixed-Income Mutual Funds

Nationwide is expanding product line capabilities in the global fixed-income space with the addition of two new mutual funds that will offer investors the opportunity to diversify their bond exposure into the international markets. Amundi Smith Breeden will subadvise the Nationwide Amundi Global High Yield and the Nationwide Amundi Strategic Income Funds.

“We welcome Amundi to our family of best-in-class subadvisers,” said Mike Spangler, president of Nationwide Funds. “These new funds will complement our existing international equity capabilities and add diversity to our competitive menu of fixed-income offerings, allowing financial advisors to take a more global approach to helping their clients fulfill their investment needs.”

Amundi Smith Breeden in Durham, N.C., serves as the North American investment headquarters for Amundi, a $1.1 trillion global asset manager with six investment centers across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Widely recognized for its 32-year commitment to developing proprietary fixed-income research, Amundi Smith Breeden provides investment solutions managing portfolios for corporate and public pensions, foundations, endowments, insurance companies, private banks and sovereign funds with some relationships extending more than 20 years.

The Nationwide Amundi Global HighYield Fund (Class A: NWXIX; Class C: NWXJX; Institutional Class: NWXKX; Institutional Service Class: NWXLX) will go beyond just U.S. high yield to include exposure to the high-yield debt markets in Europe and the emerging markets. With the recent growth of the latter two markets, Nationwide is pleased to offer Amundi Smith Breeden’s credit expertise through this portfolio that will seek to generate a high level of income for its investors.

Alongside this, the Nationwide Amundi Strategic Income Fund (Class A: NWXEX; Class C: NWXFX; Institutional Class: NWXGX; Institutional: NWXGX; Institutional Service: NWXHX) will have significant flexibility in its pursuit of delivering a high level of income to its investors. The Fund will invest in multiple sectors of the global fixed-income markets, such as investment-grade corporates, global high-yield, bank loans, mortgage and asset-backed securities and emerging markets debt. Amundi Smith Breeden has managed multi-sector fixed-income strategies since 1990 and will leverage the deep resources of Amundi’s global investment management platform.

Kenneth J. Monaghan will manage the Nationwide Amundi Global High Yield Fund and Jonathan M. Duensing will manage the Nationwide Amundi Strategic Income Fund.

“The fixed-income markets have become increasingly global, which means there are opportunities for fixed-income investors to generate returns derived from markets beyond U.S. borders,” said Spangler. “These new global fixed-income funds will offer investors enhanced portfolio diversification through exposure to international markets.”

A strategic partner to advisors, Nationwide provides a full family of subadvised mutual funds designed to help meet the unique investment goals and risk tolerances of investors. Nationwide currently manages 118 funds with approximately $58.1 billion in assets, excluding fund of funds.

ALPS to Close Three Exchange Traded Funds

ALPS to Close Three Exchange Traded Funds

ALPS, a DST Company focused on asset servicing and asset gathering, has announced the liquidation of three VelocityShares ETFs.

The three Funds — VelocityShares Emerging Asia DR ETF (NASDAQ: ASDR), VelocityShares Emerging Markets DR ETF (NASDAQ: EMDR) and VelocityShares Russia Select DR ETF (NASDAQ: RUDR) — will close to new investors on November 18, 2014 and liquidate on November 21, 2014.

The decision to close the Funds was made by the ALPS ETF Trust’s Board of Trustees after consultation with ALPS Advisors, Inc., the investment advisor to the Funds. On consideration of current market conditions, as well as prospects for growth in the Funds’ assets, the Board determined that it was in the best interests of the Funds and their shareholders to liquidate the Funds’ shares, which are listed on the NASDAQ. The last day of trading for the three Funds is scheduled to be Thursday, November 20, 2014.

The Funds will immediately begin the process of closing down and liquidating their portfolios. The process will result in the Funds not tracking their underlying indexes and their cash holdings increasing, which may be inconsistent with the Funds’ investment objectives and strategies. From November 19, 2014 to November 20, 2014, shareholders may be able to sell their shares to certain broker-dealers, but there can be no assurance that there will be a market for the Funds.

Any person holding shares in the Funds as of the liquidation date will receive a cash distribution equal to the net asset value of their shares. Shareholders receiving this cash distribution will not incur transaction fees in connection with this distribution or the liquidation of their shares in the Funds. A portion of the distribution may represent an ordinary income dividend or a capital gain distribution.

New ETF from ALPS to Track European Equities

New ETF from ALPS to Track European Equities

ALPS, a DST Company focused on asset management and asset servicing, today announced the launch of the ALPS STOXX Europe 600 ETF, the first exchange-traded fund in the U.S. built to track one of the industry’s favored benchmarks for developed Europe stocks.

The Fund began trading on October 31, 2014 under the ticker symbol STXX.

STOXX Limited, a leading provider of innovative, tradable, and global index concepts, licensed the STOXX Europe 600 Index to ALPS specifically to underlie a U.S.-based ETF. There are 10 exchange-traded products (ETPs) available globally that track the benchmark, which accounts for about 90% of the market cap for developed Europe.

ALPS, a specialist in satellite and alternative investment strategies including MLPs, REITs, Commodities, and Private Equity, will serve as the Fund’s Advisor.

According to Tom Carter, President of ALPS Advisors, the STOXX Europe 600 Index’s liquidity, transparency, and rules-based methodology make it an ideal tool for investors and financial advisors.

“Simply put, the STOXX Europe 600 Index provides the broadest exposure to a broad range of European equities,” says Carter. “We’re particularly pleased to be working with STOXX Limited to bring the benefits of this innovative benchmark to the U.S. marketplace.”

Launched June 15, 1998, the STOXX Europe 600 Index represents the performance of companies across 18 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. The index’s 600 components include the constituents of the STOXX Europe 200 Large, the STOXX Europe 200 Mid, and the STOXX Europe 200 Small indexes.

“Licensing the STOXX Europe 600 for the first time for an ETF listed in the United States is an important step for us,” said Hartmut Graf, chief executive officer, STOXX Limited. “This new ETF shows that our products are gaining recognition in this important marketplace.”

Many Indians unconvinced about benefits of mutual funds

Many Indians unconvinced about benefits of mutual funds

Assets under management (AUM) in India grew by a healthy 9.2% year-on-year in 2013 to hit Rs 8.1 trillion (£78 billion). While this headline data may appear healthy, structural cracks are evident when the data is broken down, according to findings published in the Cerulli Edge periodical’s Asian Monthly Product Trends Edition.

Corporates continued to be the main buyers of mutual funds, accounting for 49.2% of AUM as at end-September 2013. They mainly invest in money market funds and debt funds-together they accounted for more than three-quarters of AUM in the market in 2013.

After corporates, high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) accounted for 28.1% of mutual fund AUM at end-September 2013.

Finally, retail investors accounted for only 20.3% of AUM at end-September 2013. The share for retail investors is low, and even more worrying is that the share of AUM attributed to them dropped by 3.1 percentage points between September 2012 and September 2013

Industry leaders like the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Association of Mutual Funds in India are conscious of the fall in retail participation, and concerted efforts are being made to revive retail investor interest in mutual funds.

But the process will be a long-drawn one. “Many Indians remain unconvinced about the benefits of investing in mutual funds,” says Yoon Ng, Asia Research Director with Cerulli Associates, the research firm which publishes the Cerulli Edge.

“This means that comprehensive investor education initiatives, including winning back investor confidence and trust, have to be part of the process to gather more assets,” she adds.

Mutual Fund Industry Awards Winners Announced

Mutual Fund Industry Awards Winners Announced


Fund Industry Intelligence and Fund Director Intelligence, Institutional Investor’s exclusive publications for the mutual fund industry, have announced the winners of the 21st Annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards at a gala ceremony at New York’s Mandarin Oriental.

Around 500 mutual fund marketers, analysts and executives, as well as mutual fund company lawyers and independent trustees, attended the event.

The winners were announced after a six-month nomination and selection process conducted by the FII and FDI editorial teams. The picks were based on a combination of editorial research and mutual fund industry feedback. Follow the links below for winner profiles.

Fund Industry Intelligence’s winners:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Don Phillips, former head of global research, Morningstar
Fund Leader of the Year: George Aylward, president and CEO, Virtus Investment Partners
Fund Marketer of the Year: Shawn Alexander, head of Americas fund marketing, JPMorgan Funds
Ad Campaign of the Year: ING U.S. “Orange Money”
Deal of the Year: RidgeWorth Capital’s Management-Led Buyout
Sales Success of the Year: WisdomTree’s Japan Hedged Equity ETF
Retirement Leader of the Year: JPMorgan Asset Management

Fund Director Intelligence’s winners:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Joel Goldberg, of counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan
Trustee of the Year: James Oates, independent chairman, John Hancock Funds
Small Board Trustee of the Year: John Brown, independent chairman, Blackstone Alternative Investment Funds
Independent Counsel of the Year: Brian McCabe and Gregory Sheehan, partners, Ropes & Gray

Read more about the awards and winners at