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Royce Reopens 2 Funds

Putnam bond manager joins Standish, and Cohen & Steers adds a manager.

Morningstar Fund Analysts, 10/04/2012

Bronze-rated Royce Micro-Cap RMCFX and Silver-rated Royce Low Priced Stock RYLPX reopened to new shareholders on Sept. 28, 2012. Royce Micro-Cap closed in January 2010, followed by Royce Low Priced Stock in February 2011. Limiting the funds' inflows was a responsible choice to protect existing shareholders, particularly given the funds' small-cap focus. However, both funds have experienced net outflows in 2011 and so far in 2012, possibly due to poor performance in the past few years. Both funds are in the bottom deciles of their categories for the trailing three-year period.

Vanguard to Switch Benchmarks for 22 Index Funds
On Tuesday, Vanguard announced plans to change the benchmarks for 22 domestic- and international-stock mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in an effort to reduce costs for investors. Vanguard announced plans to drop MSCI indexes in favor of benchmarks created by FTSE and the University of Chicago's Center for Research in Security Prices. See Morningstar associate director of fund analysis Dan Culloton's take on the surprise announcement here.

Standish Mellon Woos Putnam Bond Manager
Standish Mellon Asset Management announced Raman Srivastava has been named co-deputy chief investment officer of global fixed income. Prior to his position at Standish, Srivastava was head of portfolio construction and quantitative research at Putnam. He comanaged Neutral-rated Putnam Income PINCX, Negative-rated Putnam Diversified Income PDINX, Putnam Short Duration PSDTX, Putnam Global Income PGGIX, and two of the firm's absolute return funds, and he oversaw the bond sleeve of George Putnam Balanced PGEOX. While Putnam's fixed-income funds use a team-based approach that makes it difficult to assign performance to a single manager, Srivastava's funds generally had mixed records during his tenure. Putnam hasn't said if it will fill his role. In the meantime, the firm's bond team will take over his duties. This marks the third executive from Putnam's fixed-income team that has left over the last 20 months.

Cohen & Steers Adds Manager
William Leung has been named a comanager on Cohen & Steers International Realty IRFAX, Cohen & Steers Global Realty CSFAX, and Cohen & Steers Emerging Markets Real Estate APFAX. He will share the co-head of Asia Pacific title with Luke Sullivan and will be directly responsible for overseeing Hong Kong, China, and Singapore. Leung previously worked as a lead portfolio manager at RREEF Real Estate, a division of Deutsche Asset Management. RREEF was briefly mentioned as part of a deal earlier this year between Deutsche Bank and Guggenheim Partners. Those talks eventually broke down.

Monty Kori replaced John Avery as the portfolio manager for the industrials sleeve of Fidelity Series All Sector Equity FSAEX. Brian Lempel also replaced Adam Hetnarski as the manager for the information technology sleeve of the fund.

Eddie Yoon replaced Patrick Venanzi as portfolio manager of the health care sleeve of Fidelity Advisor Stock Selector Mid Cap FMCDX, Fidelity Advisor Growth Strategies FGVAX, and Fidelity Mid Cap Growth FSMGX.

Alec Patterson is no longer a named manager on Allianz RCM Global Commodity Equity ARMAX. Paul Strand is now the sole manager on the fund.

Matthew Kamm is now a named portfolio manager on Artisan Mid Cap APHMX. Kamm has been an associate portfolio manager on the fund since January 2010.

The BlackRock Prepared Portfolio target-date series will change its name to the BlackRock LifePath Active Portfolio on Nov. 27, 2012. The funds' glide path, benchmarks, and mix of underlying funds will also change at that time.

Thomas Cole joined the management teams of Mainstay ICAP Equity ICAUX, Mainstay ICAP Global ICGLX, Mainstay ICAP International ICEVX, Mainstay ICAP Select Equity ICSRX, and Mainstay MAP MAPAX. Cole joined the funds' subadvisor, Chicago-based Institutional Capital LLC, as senior executive vice president in March after a long career at UBS Global Asset Management, most recently as head of U.S. equities. Cole previously had joined Institutional Capital's Jerrold Senser and Thomas Wenzel in running the firm's portion of Nuveen Multi-Manager Large-Cap Value NNGAX.

PIMCO Emerging Markets Corporate Bond PECZX reduced the fund's expense ratio by 0.10%, due to a decrease in the fund's advisory fee.

Morgan Stanley International INLAX will merge into Morgan Stanley Institutional Active International Allocation MSIBX on Oct. 29, 2012.

Morgan Stanley International Value Equity IVQAX will merge into Morgan Stanley Institutional International Equity MSIQX on Oct. 29, 2012.

Saumil Parikh is now a named manager on PIMCO Global Multi-Asset PGMDX.

ING Value Choice PAVAX will merge into ING Large Cap Value IEDAX on Nov. 30, 2012. At that point, ING Investment Management will take over management of the fund from subadvisor Tradewinds Global Investors.

Class I shares of Western Asset Short-Term Bond SBSYX will reopen to new investors on Oct. 4, 2012. The management fee for all share classes of the fund will also be reduced to 0.40% from 0.45% on Oct. 5, 2012.

Paul Fuchs joined Brian McGreevy as comanager of Columbia Intermediate Municipal Bond LITAX. McGreevy and Fuchs managed Columbia Short Term Muni Bond NSMMX from January 2012 through September 2012.

Columbia High Yield Opportunity COLHX will merge into Columbia High Yield Bond INEAX, pursuant to shareholder approval. Shareholders will meet to consider the merger in the first half of 2013.

TCW High Yield Bond TGHYX updated its prospectus strategy to allow purchases of certain mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities.

Jacob Boak replaced Tariq Siddiqi as a manager on Manning & Napier Technology EXTCX.

MainStay filed to launch MainStay Short Duration High Yield. Matthew Philo of MainStay High Yield Corporate Bond MHCAX and Andrew Susser will manage the fund.

Allianz filed to launch Allianz RCM Dynamic Emerging Multi-Asset and Allianz RCM Multi-Asset Real Return. Stefan Nixel and Zijian Yang will manage Allianz RCM Dynamic Emerging Multi-Asset, and Michael Stamos and Zijian Yang will manage Allianz RCM Multi-Asset Real Return.

Mutual fund analysts Kailin Liu and Rob Wherry and ETF analyst Robert Goldsborough contributed to this report.

Morningstar fund analysts cover more than 1,700 mutual funds and write regular commentary covering fund industry news, fund investing trends, picks, portfolio planning, international investing, and more.

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