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Friday, June 30, 2006

Round-Up

by: Marie Glancy

Another executive joins Direxion, PIMCO's Gross will stick around, and Barclays gets the OK for additional ETFs . That and more in a round-up of recent news notes:

  • Direxion Funds, which recently changed its name from Potomac Funds and has made a series of management changes to boot, recently named Bill Franca its executive vice president for distribution. A press release suggested the appointment of Franca, who most recently was senior vice president for national sales at MFS/Sun Life, underlines the revamped firm's commitment to improving relationships with advisors and creating new sales opportunities for its leveraged index products.

  • Succession questions are not yet urgent at PIMCO, its CEO has suggested, because he and Bill Gross plan to keep up the good work for a while yet. According to InvestmentNews, chief exec William Thompson confirmed that neither he himself, nor the famed bond manager, have plans to retire. Though he did not specify terms, Thompson said both he and Gross intend to renew their current employment contracts and that they may well stay longer than two more years.

  • Fugent, a provider of tech-based marketing tools and the subject of an MFWire feature Thursday, has named Brad Moffitt vice president and head of product management for Fugent Meetings and Fugent Presenter. Moffitt has led the Columbus, Ohio-based company's marketing for a year now, and for three years before that he headed regional sales in the eastern U.S. In his new role he'll report to COO Jamie Waller.

  • In its daily news digest for Monday, the SEC noted it's expanded a previous Investment Company Act exemption granted to Barclays Global Fund Advisors, et al. The permission answers an application made by Barclays and listed in the Federal Register earlier this month. In short, it allows Barclays to offer new fixed-income ETFs based on additional underlying indices, the Lehman Brothers 1-3 Year U.S. Credit Index and the Lehman Brothers U.S. MBS Fixed Rate Index.

  • Lipper has added a suite from tech firm Connotate to its global platform. The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Connotate announced recently that Lipper invested in its Information Agent Suite, a product that extracts and disseminates Web content, after using it in a pilot project.

  • In other technology-adoption news, T. Rowe Price has signed up for the data management capabilities offered by IndexStream, an offering from Pittsburgh-based Confluence. IndexStream will allow T. Rowe to automate index data collection and reporting from multiple sources. Having daily benchmark data delivered from Dow Jones, Lehman Brothers and others, "It will eliminate the collection step completely, enabling us to focus on other critical processes," said T. Rowe performance analyst Karen Malloy in a statement.  

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