Plus, AMG's shopping spree, manager changes, and more.
Morningstar's fund analysts cover 2,000 mutual funds. Their full analyst reports, including Stewardship Grades, are available in Morningstar Principia Mutual Funds Advanced and Morningstar Advisor Workstation Office Edition.
A new fund is on its way from American Funds. In keeping with the firm's record of avoiding trendy or overly narrow fund launches, the new fund, called American Funds International Growth and Income, will invest in a broad range of companies abroad, including some in the developing world. Management plans to limit the fund's stake in domestic stocks to 10% or less of the total pie.
Rollouts for this mutual fund titan have been few and far between in recent years. In fact, the only funds that American has introduced in the past 10 years have been American Funds New World
Initially, the fund will divide its assets among three portfolio counselors from Capital Research and Management's skilled ranks: Steven Watson, Carl Kawaja, and Andrew Suzman, who already have 18, 17, and 15 years of experience, respectively, as portfolio managers and research analysts at the firm. Watson has run a slice of moderate-allocation fund American Funds Income Fund of America
According to Capital Research custom, each manager will run his separate portfolio independent from the others. Unlike some of its siblings, the fund will not include a portfolio of stocks run by the research team. The firm has not yet disclosed the fund's expected annual costs.
AMG Expands Collection
Affiliated Managers Group has agreed to purchase a 60% equity interest in New Jersey-based international boutique, Harding Loevner. Founded in 1989, the shop currently manages $6 billion in international, developing markets, and global strategies. The firm is best known for its diversified emerging-markets fund, Harding Loevner Emerging Markets
We don't expect this transaction to have a noticeable impact at the fund level. AMG's more than 20 affiliates--including such distinguished money managers as Third Avenue; Tweedy, Browne; and Friess Associates (advisor to the Brandywine funds)--operate independently. The firm also announced that its leadership team has committed to remain onboard for a decade or more, and long-term employment contracts are in place. With the rest of the investment team continuing on, shareholders can expect business as usual here.
AMG will also acquire Boston-based Gannett Welsh & Kotler, an asset-management unit of the Bank of New York Mellon. The 34-year-old shop runs more than $7 billion in municipal-bond, core taxable fixed-income, and small- and multicap equity strategies. Gannett Welsh & Kotler also manages three mutual funds in the BNY Hamilton fund family: BNY Hamilton Multi-Cap Equity
Target-Retirement Manager Leaves PIMCO
After a few short months running PIMCO's newly minted target-retirement funds, manager Jamil Baz has left the bond shop to join London-based hedge fund GLG Partners. Baz's tenure with the firm is also relatively brief, having joined PIMCO in April 2007. Vineer Bhansali has taken over Baz's responsibilities on the funds. Bhansali, who first joined PIMCO in 2000, is an executive vice president of the firm and a senior member of the portfolio-management group. This is Bhansali's first time managing a mutual fund.
The PIMCO RealRetirement fund series, which totals five funds with target dates ranging from 2010 to 2050, launched on March 31, 2008. With sizable exposures to commodities, real estate, and inflation-protected bonds supplementing the funds' mix of stock and bond holdings, these funds offer a twist on the more traditional target-retirement formula.
MetWest Gets New Chief
There's a new top executive at fixed-income shop Metropolitan West Asset Management, advisor to Morningstar Analyst Pick Metropolitan West Total Return Bond
SSgA Reopens Fund, Launches ETFs
The $3.7 billion in assets SSgA Emerging Markets
State Street also unveiled 10 new international-sector exchange-traded funds to its SPDR ETF lineup. The new offerings will only invest in non-U.S. companies, and they'll track a series of S&P indexes divvied up according to the Global Industry Classification System. The ETFs, which began trading on the American Stock Exchange this week, each cost an annual 0.50% of assets.
Bold Bank-Loan Fund Loses Manager
Changes are under way for Van Kampen's bank-loan efforts. Christina Jamieson, lead manager at Van Kampen Senior Loan
Bank-loan funds have struggled since the credit crisis took its first swing at bond markets one year ago. On average, funds in this niche field have shed 4.8% of their value for the 12 months through July 23, the worst showing for a taxable-bond-fund category over this past year. But this fund, stung by its use of leverage and a few issuer defaults, fell harder than most, losing 9.4% during this same stretch.
Federated Fund Bulks Up
Two comanagers have joined the team running mid-cap growth offering Federated Kaufmann