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Nov 6, 2015

Top fund firms stay conservative in support for activists: report

NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) – Three top U.S. asset managers shied away from supporting dissident directors in recent proxy contests, according to voting data, showing how corporate management teams can still depend on key players in the fund industry for backing in the face of an activist fight.

The data, dating back to 2013 and compiled by financial services group Houlihan Lokey, showed that since 2013, funds sponsored by BlackRock Inc, Vanguard Group Inc and State Street Corp all voted for just a minority of the 229 board seats sought by directors aligned with dissident shareholders.

Oct 30, 2015

Carson’s boardroom support for gay rights could test his base

BOSTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Ben Carson, frontrunner in the
struggle to become Republican presidential candidate, said on
Wednesday that his support for gay rights initiatives when he
was a director at major companies does not clash with his
opposition to gay marriage.

But some leaders in the social conservative movement that
has backed Carson say his more than 15-year record on the boards
of retailer Costco Wholesale and food manufacturer
Kellogg could pose a challenge for him as he seeks the
nomination.

Oct 26, 2015

Massachusetts regulator charges Fidelity unit over unregistered advisers

BOSTON (Reuters) – Massachusetts’ top securities regulator said on Monday he had charged a brokerage unit of Fidelity Investments with “dishonest and unethical conduct” by allowing unregistered investment advisers to make trades on its broker-dealer platform.

The regulator, William Galvin, called out Fidelity in a statement for “a systemic failure” to spot the activity, which he described as “blatant.” An administrative complaint said Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC allowed at least 13 advisers who were not registered with the state as required to carry out trades under authorization forms submitted by Fidelity customers.

Oct 23, 2015

State Street net income flat, plans job cuts

BOSTON (Reuters) – State Street Corp said on Friday third-quarter net income was little changed as low equity values and interest rates hurt revenue, and said it plans to cut 600 jobs worldwide.

The Boston-based custody bank also plans to accelerate other cost-saving measures after declines in foreign markets during the quarter held back results.

Oct 23, 2015

Shares of large U.S. asset managers rise despite tough quarter

BOSTON (Reuters) – Large U.S. asset managers’ shares rose on Thursday despite outflows and profit declines in the latest quarter, which analysts said were offset by other details in their earnings reports that covered a period of choppy markets during the three months ended Sept. 30.

Shares in Janus Capital Group of Denver and T. Rowe Price Group of Baltimore both rose more than 6.5 percent on Thursday, while Franklin Resources Inc of San Mateo, California, was up 5 percent.

Oct 23, 2015

Shares of large U.S. asset managers rise despite tough quarter

BOSTON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Large U.S. asset managers’ shares
rose on Thursday despite outflows and profit declines in the
latest quarter, which analysts said were offset by other details
in their earnings reports that covered a period of choppy
markets during the three months ended Sept. 30.

Shares in Janus Capital Group of Denver and T. Rowe
Price Group of Baltimore both rose more than 6.5
percent on Thursday, while Franklin Resources Inc of San
Mateo, California, was up 5 percent.

Oct 22, 2015

Debt-ceiling debate could put money funds into uncharted waters

BOSTON/NEW YORK, Oct 22 (Reuters) – A failure by Washington
leaders to raise the federal debt ceiling by next month could
test whether new regulations have made money market mutual funds
more robust.

With $2.7 trillion in assets, money funds play a key role in
the financial system as purchasers of corporate and government
debt used to fund short-term operations. Some funds’ managers
were rattled when past debt showdowns cast doubt on the payment
schedules of U.S. Treasury securities they held, though
investors ultimately stayed with the funds.

Oct 20, 2015

BNY Mellon’s cost-cutting drive hit by software outage

BOSTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Bank of New York Mellon Corp
on Tuesday reported third-quarter results that beat
expectations, but said its cost-cutting drive was interrupted by
a summertime software outage that forced it to compensate
clients.

The large custody bank roiled much of the U.S. mutual fund
industry in August when one of the accounting systems it uses to
generate prices for funds collapsed. The problems lasted more
than a week and affected about $400 billion in assets. [reut.rs/1kkLxgG
]

Oct 13, 2015

Bernanke says student debt no threat to U.S. financial system

BOSTON (Reuters) – Ben Bernanke, who as Federal Reserve chairman steered the United States through its worst financial crisis in modern times, said on Tuesday that ballooning U.S. student loans do not pose the same threat to the financial system as housing loans did.

“The student loan situation is a risk, but a different kind of risk,” Bernanke said, when asked how dangerous the roughly $1.2 trillion in student loan debt is. “It is not going to destabilize the financial system.” He spoke at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

Oct 12, 2015

In sign of optimism, U.S. funds add to European bank holdings

BOSTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) – More U.S. fund managers are
buying into Europe’s previously unloved banking sector.

With profits set to rise amid restructurings and the
European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program kicking in,
banking stocks have become more popular with U.S. international
fund managers who bet the institutions will prosper as the
region’s economy improves.

    • About Ross

      "I cover mutual funds and the companies that offer them including Fidelity Investments and Legg Mason Inc, plus related topics like retirement savings issues and socially responsible investing. I'm based in Boston and joined Reuters in 2009."
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