NEW YORK - Interactive Data Corp. has entered into an agreement with Lipper Analytical Services to provide automated daily dividend accrual factor data for mutual funds.
Such information is necessary in accounting for mutual funds that declare dividend income daily.
The new offering is the first in a series of mutual fund accounting services that Interactive Data and Lipper will offer to bank trust departments, custodians, brokerage firms and 401(k) record keepers.
Most firms use a dedicated staff to collect this information manually. The new service will be automated, allowing firms to redeploy these people, or reduce staff.
Adding value fund on agenda
SAN DIEGO - Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management will introduce its first value-oriented mutual fund by summer, said John W. Wylie, chief investment officer-retail and a partner. The decision was driven in part by the desire to offer an approach to 401(k) plans, he said.
The strategy also will be available to institutions on a separate account basis, he added.
Nicholas-Applegate will look at acquiring a value manager as one of several options to manage the new products, according to Ashley Rabun, president of the Nicholas-Applegate Mutual Funds.
Other possibilities include buying a value mutual fund or hiring a seasoned value portfolio manager, she said.
Federated funds get name change
PITTSBURGH - Federated Investors is changing the names of several funds so all 19 of its mutual funds include the word Federated.
Many of the funds previously were called by such names as Liberty and Fortress.
"Changing the names of our funds is part of our overall marketing strategy to increase brand-name awareness and help financial intermediaries sell Federated funds," said James F. Getz, president of Federated Securities Corp.
Automated phone service offered
STAMFORD, Conn. - PIMCO Advisors Funds introduced an automated telephone information system for financial advisers and their clients.
The program provides round-the-clock access to daily fund and market results and gives the adviser the ability to hear recorded messages from each of the funds' institutional investment managers, including Bill Gross of Pacific Investment Management Co.
Bank group taps Security First
WASHINGTON - The Corporation for American Banking, a subsidiary of the American Bankers Association, selected Security First Group, Los Angeles, to provide mutual funds, annuities and other investments for its member banks to market to customers.
Tower to offer Aetna funds
HARTFORD, Conn. - Aetna Retirement Services Inc. and its subsidiary, Aetna Life Insurance and Annuity Co., reached a selling agreement with Tower Investors Inc. in which Tower will add Aetna's Premier and Premium Plus Fixed Annuities to its product portfolio.
Tower is a subsidiary of Hibernia National Bank, New Orleans. The products will be sold to bank customers in Louisiana.
Offshore processing venture set
WAYNE, Pa. - Fund Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of SEI Corp. with $65 billion in mutual fund assets under administration, teamed up with Morgan Grenfell (Ireland) Ltd., one of the largest offshore fund processing firms in the world with $5 billion in assets.
The firms have created Fund Resources (International) Ltd., a separate SEI company based in Dublin, to provide offshore mutual fund processing for U.S.-based investment managers.
According to David G. Lee, president of the new entity, SEI's Fund Resources Division will provide the knowledge of U.S.-based investment companies, securities processing technology and U.S. distribution, while Morgan Grenfell (Ireland) will provide the offshore fund processing infrastructure and a strong track record of global fund administration for non-U.S. fund advisers.
According to Paul McNaughton, chief executive officer of Morgan Grenfell (Ireland): "As the money management business continues its rapid global expansion, U.S. managers will increasingly look for offshore fund processing."
The new entity already has signed on The Northern Trust Co. and its Global Cash Funds as a client, along with the processing for SEI's family of funds.
SEI officials say offshore processing of mutual funds has grown rapidly in recent years and offers significant advantages for U.S.-based investment advisers, including minimizing withholding taxes to non-U.S. investors and providing flexible investment structures.
The joint venture is one of a few "independent" offshore processing firms. Most current providers are banks, which offer the service alongside custody. Fund Resources (International) will focus on fund administration as its core business, while enabling a client to select the custodian of its choice.
SEC doing prospectus work
WASHINGTON - The Securities and Exchange Commission's investment management division, which regulates mutual fund companies, is working to help them tailor prospectuses for the burgeoning 401(k) market, Robert Plaze, associate director, said in an interview.
The SEC is looking at eliminating information not relevant to those who invest through employer-sponsored retirement programs while adding more pertinent information.
For example, a good deal of current prospectus information discusses ways investors can buy and sell mutual fund shares - unnecessary for those who invest through 401(k) plans, Mr. Plaze said.
At the same time, the agency is concerned "that people are funding their retirement with money market funds," he said. So, the SEC might ask mutual fund companies to add information in the prospectus that would help investors determine the viability of those investments.
The agency's concern is dovetailing with Labor Department efforts to spur companies to make their employees savvy investors within the bounds of federal pension law.
Baxt joins BISYS Investment
LITTLE FALLS, N.J. - Richard Baxt joined BISYS Investment Services Group, as executive vice president of product development.
He will direct product development to increase sales and market share of BISYS' existing bank relationships. He had been general manager of investments and insurance at First Fidelity Bank and president of First Fidelity Brokers.
BISYS Investment Services administers, designs and distributes more than 30 families of proprietary mutual funds. The firm also provides 401(k) marketing support, administration and record keeping to 18 banks and investment managers.
New Kemper offering
CHICAGO - The Kemper Funds announced a new mutual fund - the Kemper Quantitative Equity Fund.
The fund will identify mostly large-capitalization stocks selling below their intrinsic value and possessing faster earnings growth than the market average. It will be neutrally weighted to macroeconomic factors that contribute to volatility.
The portfolio manager is Daniel J. Bukowski, senior vice president and director of quantitative research for Zurich Kemper Investments.
In other developments, David M. Swanson rejoined Kemper as a senior vice president and director of marketing, a new position. He had been head of Kemper's shareholder marketing department when he left in 1994 to join Van Kampen Merritt.
Christine Williamson and Vineeta Anand contributed to this column.