Funds Hub

Money managers under the microscope

That’s all folks

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The mood at this year’s Fund Forum, if not exactly upbeat, has been less sombre than last year’s introspective summit, with a few more cocktail parties around the stands, but asset managers remain on the whole subdued.

The continuing market volatility has a lot to answer for, with renewed worries about a double-dip recession overshadowing events. But if nothing else, the recession has forced exhibitors in the Forum’s trade hall to be a bit more imaginative in their freebies this year.

Service provider Bowne had some intriguing foldaway brushes and brightly coloured baggage tags that attracted many a delegate whilst the return of an ice cream cabinet went down a storm in the oppressive heat.

Older asset managers may remember the notorious Rome Fund Forum where the arrival of the ice cream cart once a day would trigger a mobbing round the stand from rival exhibitors melting in the non air-conditioned trade hall. Thankfully the Grimaldi is somewhat better equipped.

Live from the Fund Forum 2010

Follow the Reuters Live Blog from the annual investment management industry conference Monaco.

Marshall not so gaga for Osborne

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Lord Myners played a cheeky game of bull and bear with Paul Marshall, the co-founder of hedge fund company Marshall Wace, at the close of his Q&A session at the Fund Forum in Monaco this morning.

After a playful grilling by Lord Myners, which ran the gamut from the problems of gating amongst hedge funds to Marshall Wace’s interest in being a Red Knight for Manchester United football club, Lord Myners fired various concepts at Marshall in a quickfire round, inviting him to choose whether he was a bull or a bear.

Vanguard plans UK target retirement date funds

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US passive giant Vanguard is planning to bring its target retirement date products to the UK market to target the growing defined contribution (DC) pensions business.

Taking to Reuters at the Fund Forum, Tom Rampulla, managing director of Vanguard UK, said that the firm was currently trying to structure these long term savings products for the UK market, and looking to add key funds to support the offerings.

This little piggy went to market

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A lot of fund managers like to talk about how important it is to educate the investor but T Rowe Price has put its money where its mouth is. Through a collaboration with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts it has created an online game and an interactive exhibit at EPCOT called The Great Piggy Bank Adventure.

The aim is to help kids and their parents get to grips with basic savings concepts, diversifying their assets and staying ahead of inflation in a fun way. You can choose to save up for various items like a rabbit or a basketball but woe betide the child who is tempted by the whoopie cushion or plastic vomit when they pop to the shops.

from Reuters Money:

Fund managers see value in energy stocks

For equity investors, 2010 has yet to deliver the "fun" to fund investing.

The average stock fund has lost 3.5 percent so far this year, according to Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company. And the funds that are at the top of the performance charts thus far this year are typically taking a defensive stance.

One such defensive portfolio is the Ave Maria Growth fund, which is up 4.86 percent through June 23. According to Lipper, top holdings include defense contractor General Dynamics, retailer Coach and tech giant Hewlett-Packard.

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