Plus, news from Third Avenue, Fidelity, Barclays, and more.
BlackRock announced today that Keith Anderson, one of its cofounders, will leave the firm in March 2008 and will likely start his own investment fund. Most recently, Anderson has served as BlackRock's vice chairman and its global chief investment officer for fixed income. Scott Amero, an 18-year employee of BlackRock, replaces him in both roles. Amero was already co-leader (with Anderson) of BlackRock's fixed-income efforts. Joining Amero as a new co-head of fixed-income portfolio management is Peter Fisher, chairman of BlackRock Asia. And, following the company's tradition of team management and keeping up with its growth, BlackRock will add four other veterans to its fixed-income leadership team.
We think BlackRock will make this transition smoothly, though there's no denying that Anderson's departure represents a great loss of talent. But BlackRock is offering just what investors could hope for in such a situation. The remaining team is extremely strong--more than 30 of its over 100 portfolio managers have been employees of the company for 10 years or more. All things considered, BlackRock funds shareholders' money is still in very good hands.
Third Avenue Creates Opportunity by Re-opening Foreign Fund
In a category where good, still-open funds are tough to come by, Third Avenue is giving investors a break. It is reopening foreign small/mid-value fund Third Avenue International Value
In an added twist, Third Avenue's press release mentions new opportunities that the team has found in markets it previously left untouched. For example, investors here shouldn't be surprised to see stocks from countries such as Poland, Thailand, or South Korea, to name a few, joining the portfolio. Third Avenue recently opened a Singapore office to bolster its international capabilities.
Bad News for ETNs?
The U.S. Treasury Department and Barclays Bank are at odds over tax treatment of exchanged-traded notes. Last week, Treasury weighed in with its opinion that ETNs should not receive favorable tax treatment. Barclays launched ETNs in mid-2006 as a way for investors to gain cleaner access to commodities, without derivatives. With an ETN, the issuer takes possession of a commodity, such as gold, and issues exchange-traded notes representing shares in the commodity. As gold's value fluctuates on an intraday basis, so does that of the shares. Barclays touted the possible tax-advantaged nature of ETNs as a significant part of their appeal. ETN returns, it predicted, would only be taxed when investors sold shares, even as intermittent reinvested dividends increased the overall value of the investment.
Templeton Funds See Manager Shuffle
Murdo Murchison, the most-senior comanager of world-stock fund Templeton Growth
Dale Winner is also leaving Templeton. An employee there since 1995, he had just become a comanager of Templeton World