Plus, Matthews manager changes, and more.
Invesco has snatched a prominent Wells Fargo manager and made several other much-needed manager changes in an effort to revive its U.S. mid- and large-cap growth funds. Many of these funds, which once accounted for most of Invesco's domestic-equity assets, have been inconsistent and now represent the smallest slice of the money managed by the group.
Paul Rasplicka, who had managed Invesco Dynamics
Invesco has hired James Leach, comanager of Wells Fargo Advantage Discovery
Under Rasplicka, Dynamics trailed 60% of peers and the Russell Midcap Growth Index. The fund has endured a series of manager changes over the years, struggled in the past two bear markets, and posted uninspiring long-term returns, too. Leach contributed to Wells Fargo Advantage Discovery's strong track record and will apply the same approach at Invesco. Discovery topped both its average mid-cap growth peer and the Russell Midcap Growth benchmark since he joined in mid-2007.
At Invesco's large-cap growth funds, Erik Voss, who joined Morgan Stanley's asset-management business (now part of Invesco) after managing several Seligman funds, will now oversee Invesco's large-cap strategies and also report to Juliet Ellis. In addition to running Invesco Van Kampen Capital Growth
Rob Lloyd, who had run Constellation, Invesco Summit
Ryan Amerman, who has comanaged Invesco Summit since early 2008, will now take the lead role on that fund and several others. This will be Amerman's first time serving as a lead manager.
The changes were necessary to get Invesco's U.S. domestic growth equity lineup on more-solid footing and could improve the funds, said Morningstar analyst Ryan Leggio.
In other Invesco news, W. Lawson McWhortner, who managed Invesco Structured Core
Matthews Names Firm Veterans to Funds
Matthews Asia Growth and Income
Vanguard Reports 11-Year High for 401(k) Balances
Participants in Vanguard-run 401(K) plans on average have emerged from the Great Recession and subsequent rebound with higher account balances, according to recent Vanguard research.
The firm reports that at the end of 2010 average 401(k) account balances for which Vanguard is the record keeper stood at $79,077, and that the median balance rose 77% from 2005 to 2010 for those who maintained a balance over that period. From December 2007, near the start of the last bear market through year-end 2010 the median rise in 401(k) account balances was 31% thanks to continued contributions, the market recovery, and nonequity investments.
Vanguard also noted that only about 2% of participants stopped contributing to their 401(k)s in 2010, and that even during 2008's downturn, only 3.1% ceased their contributions.
Western Asset's Launches New Short-Term Bond Fund
Western Asset Management filed a preliminary prospectus for Western Asset Short-Term High Yield. It will maintain an effective duration (a measure of interest-rate sensitivity) of less than one year and will invest in a wide variety of bonds, including asset-backed securities, mortgage-backed securities, corporate bonds, and government issues. The fund can invest outside the United States but will stay in developed markets. It will only invest in securities that are investment-grade at the time of purchase.
The fund will be managed by Ken Leech, Steve Walsh, Kevin Kennedy, Martin Hanley, and Christian Amantea.
Dodge & Cox has named two new independent trustees to its fund board, bringing its total to seven independent and three interested trustees. In February, Robert B. Morris III, a private investor and former managing director at Goldman Sachs, joined the board. Ann Mather will become a trustee in May. She served as chief financial officer of Pixar Studios and is also on the boards of Google
AllianceBernstein is no longer a subadvisor for GuideStone Funds International Equity
JP Morgan announced Aryeh Glatter, the former manager of Alliance Bernstein Balanced Shares
JP Morgan announced it was removing a 60-day redemption fee from all of its funds. The firm says it has ample controls in place to mitigate market-timing so the fees were unnecessary.
Veracity Small Cap Value
Marc Murray joined the management team of Dividend Growth Trust Rising Dividend Growth
Kinetics Tactical Paradigm
B shares of MTB International Equity
PIMCO Emerging Markets and Infrastructure Bond
Nuveen Insured Municipal Bond
Nuveen California Insured Municipal Bond
Nuveen Florida Preference Municipal Bond
Scott Sedlak joined the management team of Nuveen Real Estate Securities
Cohen & Steers Realty Income
Century Small Cap Select
Elizabeth MacLean is no longer manager of Lord Abbett Floating Rate
PACE International Emerging Markets Equity
Eaton Vance New Jersey Limited Maturity
Guinness Atkinson filed to launch Guinness Atkinson RMB in May 2011. The fund will invest a significant portion of assets in Renminbi-denominated debt instruments issued by the Chinese government and corporations.
Lord Abbett filed to launch Lord Abbett Growth Leaders on June 15, 2011. The fund will invest in stocks of U.S. and multinational companies that demonstrate strong long-term growth potential. The fund can invest in all market caps.
Frontegra filed to launch Frontegra SAM Global Equity. The fund will invest at least 80% of assets in equity and equity-related securities of "sustainable issuer" companies with a high level of environmental awareness and a clearly defined social policy.
Franklin Templeton filed to launch Franklin Templeton Global Tactical Allocation. The fund seeks total return and will invest in global stocks, global bonds, commodity-linked instruments, and cash.
MassMutual filed to launch MassMutual RetireSMART Conservative, MassMutual RetireSMART Moderate, MassMutual RetireSMART Moderate Growth, and MassMutual RetireSMART Growth on June 20, 2011. The asset-allocation funds seek total return by investing in mutual funds run by MassMutual or its affiliates.