Plus, Missouri drops 529 fees, Transamerica shuffles subadvisors, and more.
Alpine Woods Capital Investors, LLC and its chief executive officer, Samuel Lieber, reached a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding trading of initial public offering shares in two of the firm's smallest funds. Alpine agreed to retain its compliance consultant (which the firm hired before the SEC investigation began) and pay a penalty of $650,000. Samuel Lieber will pay $65,000.
The SEC alleged that between Feb. 1, 2006, and Jan. 31, 2008, Alpine Dynamic Financial Services
Missouri Drops 529 Fees
Missouri's MOST 529 college savings plan is getting cheaper, according to an announcement from State Treasurer Clint Zweiful. Costs for the direct-sold plan will range from 0.29% to 0.38% for age-based and index options, down from 0.55%. Actively managed portfolios' costs will range from 0.53% to 0.60%, down from 0.87% to 1.58%. For the advisor-sold plan, no account owner's fees will increase and 27% of them will see fees decrease.
These cuts make the direct-sold plan, which earns an average Morningstar analyst rating, more competitive on the fee front with Vanguard's direct-sold plans in New York and Nevada, which are the industry's cheapest.
Also, Missouri retained Upromise as its plan manager for the next five years and announced that DWS Investments will be the exclusive distributor of its advisor-sold MOST 529 plan.
Transamerica Subadvisor Shuffle
Transamerica recently announced a number of subadvisor and fund name changes that will take place at the end of next month.
JPMorgan and BlackRock will become the subadvisors of Transamerica Balanced
Wellington Management will become the sole subadvisor of Transamerica Diversified Equity
Systematic Financial Management will become the sole subadvisor of Transamerica Small/Mid Cap Value
Finally, Morgan Stanley will become the sole subadvisor of Transamerica Focus
Currency Trading Cost Concerns Heat Up
The Wall Street Journal reported that some large investment firms, including BlackRock and Fidelity, have raised concerns that they have been overcharged for currency trades by custodian banks. These banks facilitate U.S. investments in foreign firms, converting dollars into local currencies at the time of purchase and facilitating the reverse upon sale of the security. According to the Journal, attorneys general in three states have filed or are joining lawsuits against custodian banks. California filed suit against State Street Corporation
Old Mutual Asset Management Names New CEO
Old Mutual announced this week that Peter L. Bain has been named president and chief executive officer of Old Mutual Asset Management. Previously, Bain served in a senior executive role at Legg Mason.
Invesco filed plans to launch a new emerging-markets equity fund. Invesco Emerging Markets Equity Fund will invest in companies with a market capitalization greater than $1 billion. This new fund will be the firm's second emerging-markets equity fund if shareholders approve the merger between Invesco Van Kampen Emerging Markets
Turner Funds is bringing three new alternative funds. Turner Market Neutral will be run by Matthew Glaser. Turner Medical Sciences Long/Short will be managed by Vijay Shankaran. Turner Titan, a global long-short fund with a focus on large caps, will be managed by Christopher Baggini.
Forward Management, LLC will launch the Forward Commodity Long/Short Strategy fund.
Greenwich Advisors India Select
Noman Ali is no longer on the management team of John Hancock Global Agribusiness
Western Asset Global High Yield
Timothy Porter joined William Ferer and Ronald Sorenson on the management team of Reaves Select Research
Westcore Blue Chip Value will merge into Westcore Blue Chip
Stephen Komon is no longer a manager for Natixis Westpeak ActiveBeta Equity
ING Wells Fargo Health Care
On Feb. 16, 2011, Madison Mosaic Small/Mid-Cap
Legg Mason ClearBridge Diversified Large Cap Growth
AllianceBernstein Diversified Yield