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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cap Group's Rothenberg Speaks Out

News summary by MFWire's editors

James Rothenberg, the chairman of Capital Group [profile], seldom breaks his silence, but on Wednesday, he was, by his standards, downright loquacious. The investment advisor to American Funds [profile] spoke with reporters from a few publications including Stephen Foley of The Financial Times, Ross Kerber of Reuters and Christopher Condon of Bloomberg.

Rothenberg's reticence has oft been perceived as a strategy in itself, but the chairman suggested to Foley that it's just part of his modest nature.

“Sometimes being reticent, shy, not wanting to be self-promotional gets turned around the other way as being arrogant," Rothenberg said.

Considering the numbers, Rothenberg has every reason to be humbled. According to data provided by Morningstar, American Funds suffered net outflows of $33.4 billion for the 12 months ended August 31. Ouch.

It would seem Rothenberg isn't taking the grave numbers lightly, and he's stepping up to the media spotlight to show he's no idle passenger. Reuter's Ross Kerber writes that Rothenberg shared his plan to "counter the widespread belief that investors no longer need actively managed equity funds, which make up 85 percent of American Funds assets". Rothenberg suggests that there's work to be done on the inside as well, telling Foley that American Funds will abandon its “one-size-fits-all” approach in order to provide institutional investors with a greater selection of PMs and enable retail clients to access separately managed accounts.

See the Bloomberg story here, the Reuters story here, and The Financial Times story here.  

Edited by: Nicole Spector

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