NEW YORK - Mutual funds are now an official industry group in the eyes of Standard & Poor's Corp.
The firm introduced a system of index industry groups covering all of its broad market indexes - not just the S&P 500. Of the 122 industry group definitions, 118 are in the indexes. The other four industry groups - investments, land development, mutual funds and real estate investment trusts - consist of companies in industry groups ineligible for index inclusion that are still among the 8,700 stocks covered in the firm's stock database.
Small-cap value gets backing
NEW YORK - Will small-capitalization value stocks finally have their day? Warburg Pincus Counsellors thinks so. The firm is introducing a small-company value fund.
The managers are George U. Wyper and Kyle F. Frey, associate portfolio manager. The minimum initial investment for the no-load fund is $2,500.
NEW YORK - Scudder Funds has opened a site on the World Wide Web and is the first mutual fund company site to offer each user a customized "personal page." The Internet address is http: funds.scudder.com.
The site provides information on asset allocation, tuition and retirement planning to users who fill out interactive "worksheets."
In a separate development, the firm has launched a high-yield bond fund, which is managed by Kelly D. Babson with Christopher L. Gootkind and Stephen Wohler serving as co-managers. The no-load fund will be marketed to retail investors and defined contribution plans.
New Colonial Newport offerings
BOSTON - Colonial Mutual Funds again teamed up with Newport Pacific Management to offer two mutual funds for investing in Asian stock markets - Colonial Newport Tiger Cub Fund and Colonial Newport Japan Fund. Colonial will distribute the new funds, and Newport will be the investment adviser.
The first joint effort between the firms, Colonial Newport Tiger Fund, has attracted $1.4 billion in assets.
While the Japan fund will buy well-established companies, Tiger Cub will invest in small-cap growth equities across Asia.
Both firms are subsidiaries of Liberty Financial Cos. Inc.
Jackson National Life Distributors Inc., Los Angeles, appointed Chris van Mierlo vice president-product management for its Perspective Fixed and Variable Annuity as well as future products. He will direct the firm's efforts with subadvisers and in advertising and technology.
He previously was assistant vice president and national sales manager-variable life for Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co., Newport Beach, Calif.
Michael R. Dennehy joined Russell Fund Distributors, Tacoma, Wash., as assistant vice president of sales. He will market State Street Global Advisors' Seven Seas mutual funds to the financial planner market. He formerly was a registered representative for Scudder, Stevens & Clark.
In addition, Ellen M. Hardy has been promoted to vice president of operations. She formerly was manager of client relations. The changes are part of an effort by Russell, the sole distributor of the Seven Seas funds, to solidify State Street's relationships with financial advisers.
The Seven Seas funds manage $800 million for financial advisers and a total of $9 billion for all types of institutions.
White distributes Advisors Choice
SHELTON, Conn. - American Skandia's no-load variable annuity, Advisors Choice, will be available via Jack White & Co.'s insurance distribution system, which serves registered fee-based financial advisers. The annuity offers 20 different subaccounts run by 15 firms including Fred Alger Management; T. Rowe Price Associates Inc.; Janus Capital Corp.; Seligman Henderson Co.; Lord Abbett & Co.; INVESCO and J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.
New social fund available
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Meyers, Sheppard & Co. L.L.C. introduced a no-load mutual fund investing in the stock of companies with stated progressive policies toward gays and lesbians.
The manager will select from a universe of 325 blue-chip companies.
The minimum initial investment is $1,000 and the fund has a 0.25% 12(b)1 fee.
Guardian introduces B shares
NEW YORK - Guardian Park Avenue fund has introduced B shares as an alternative to the usual 4.5% front-end load A shares.
Instead of paying an upfront charge, investors instead may pay what will amount to an extra 0.75% annually and assume a sliding scale of contingent deferred or back-end sales charges that end after six years.
Two other Guardian funds also will have B shares: Guardian Asset Allocation and Guardian Baillie Gifford International Fund.