As of press time, analysts say Marsh & McLennan is expected to sell its Putnam fund family and investment unit to the Canadian investment firm Power Corporation. The sale price commonly being referred to is $3.9 billion, or 2 percent of assets. "It looks like a fair price," says Bill Bergman, an equity analyst with Morningstar. "And this is a healthy move for Marsh."
According to Financial Research Corporation, Putnam Investments experienced about $13 billion in net outflows through October 2006 after outflows of roughly $17.5 billion in 2006. Assets under management stood at $94 billion in October 2006 vs. $99 billion in October 2005; these figures exclude proprietary fund of funds.
Morningstar has picked the top three fund managers by asset class for 2006:
o O. Mason Hawkins and Staley Cates of Longleaf Partners Fund (LLPFX), and Longleaf Partners Small Cap (LLSCX) in the domestic category;
o David Herro of Oakmark International (OAKIX) and Oakmark International Small Cap (OAKEX) in the international category; and
o Jeffrey Gundlach of TCW Total Return Bond (TGLMX) in the fixed-income category.
Fidelity has announced several changes to its portfolio management and introduced four new funds. Brent Bottamini is now the sole portfolio manager of Fidelity Latin America Fund and Fidelity Advisor Latin America Fund. His former co-manager, Adam Kutas, is relocating to London. William W. Irving is now head of the Fidelity Government Income Fund, succeeding George A. Fischer.
In addition, financial advisors can tap into four new funds that were introduced in December: the Fidelity Advisor Consumer Staples Fund, Fidelity Advisor Gold Fund, Fidelity Advisor Materials Fund, and Fidelity Advisor Telecommunications Fund. The funds are part of a restructuring of Fidelity's Select Portfolios, Advisor Focus Funds and VIP sector funds.
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