BALTIMORE - T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. has introduced an emerging markets equity fund, subadvised by Rowe Price-Fleming International, that will invest the majority of its assets in Latin America and Asia. The T. Rowe Price Emerging Markets Stock Fund will not carry a load, but will charge a 2% fee for redemptions of shares held less than one year to discourage short-term trading activity.
Meanwhile, Seligman Henderson Co., New York, is putting its planned emerging markets fund on hold. The fund was supposed to be geared to institutional investors, but firm officials did not see much appetite among investors given the current uncertain market environment, said Rodney G.D. Smith, chief executive officer.
James S. Grabovac has joined INVESCO Funds Group, Denver, as a municipal bond fund manager. He formerly was with Stein Roe & Farnham Inc. in Chicago, as portfolio manager of the Stein Roe High-Yield Municipals Fund. He will run the $259 million INVESCO Long-term Tax-Free and the $5 million INVESCO Intermediate Tax-Free Bond funds.
He replaces William Veronda, who resigned.
Jeffrey Ubben, portfolio manager of the $4 billion Fidelity Value Fund, Boston, left to join Richard C. Blum & Associates, a San Francisco investment management firm. He has been replaced by Bettina Doulton. She will continue to manage the $550 million Fidelity Advisor Equity-Income Fund and the $2.6 billion VIP Equity Income portfolio, a variable insurance product.
In addition, Marc Kaufman has been named portfolio manager for Fidelity Select Electronics portfolio. He succeeds Harry Lange, who had managed the fund since 1994. Mr. Lange will continue to manage the Fidelity Select Computers and Fidelity Select Technology portfolios.
Roland Gillis, formerly vice president and portfolio manager of the Keystone Custodian Funds S4 Fund for eight years, joined Putnam Investments as co-manager of the Putnam Voyager Fund.
Mr. Gillis was hired in anticipation of the retirement of Matthew A. Weatherbie, CIO.
Mr. Gillis was replaced at Keystone by Christopher R. Ely, who also has been named head of the firm's small-cap growth team. Mr. Ely joined Keystone in 1986.
J. Gabriel Irwin and Simon Wells have been appointed to head the global fixed-income group of Prudential Mutual Funds in London. The team will run $1.3 billion in three open- and two closed-end funds, as well as several Prudential funds for non-U.S. investors.
They formerly were directors and senior members of the investment policy committee of Smith Barney Global Capital Management Inc., where they ran $1.5 billion in institutional and mutual fund assets. No replacements have been named at Smith Barney.
First of America Bank Corp. selected Gulfstream Global Investors to run its $300 million Parkstone International Discovery Fund, which invests in small to midsized international stocks. Formerly it was managed by Ivory & Sime.
The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co., a subsidiary of American General Corp., Houston, has named four subadvisers in an expansion of funds offered under its variable annuity fund of funds.
The number of funds in the Portfolio Director variable annuity was expanded to 18 from 10, with the addition of funds from the Dreyfus; Templeton; T. Rowe Price and Value Line fund families.
The other existing managers are Bankers Trust Co. and VALIC. Portfolio Director is sold mainly to 403(b) plans and retirement plans of other non-profit organizations. Among the funds added were: Templeton's International Fund and asset allocation fund; Dreyfus' Small Cap Fund and T. Rowe Price's Science & Technology Fund.
Thomas L. West Jr., president of VALIC, with nearly $25 billion, hopes to double its assets under management to $50 billion by 1999 through internal growth as well as acquisitions.
T. Rowe Price Associates is the first no-load mutual fund company to make its funds available on Networking, a back-office record keeping system for use by banks and other financial institutions, managed by the National Securities Clearing.
Networking will allow bank trust departments to outsource most mutual fund account information functions. It will standardize account information, eliminate the need to maintain separate shareholder account systems and the processing and storing of account statements, reduce the potential for discrepancies, and consolidate settlement of cash dividends and capital gains distributions.
TOPEKA, Kan. - The Security Benefit Group of Companies has introduced Variflex LS, a no-load lump-sum variable annuity developed for long-term investors. Its minimum lump-sum investment is $25,000.
Variflex LS offers seven investment options: growth stock; income-growth; money market; worldwide equity; high-grade fixed income; social awareness securities; and emerging growth stocks. Investors may switch among options without charge.