Genworth Financial is beefing up its asset management business: the company is buying AssetMark Investment Services, with $8 billion under management, to complement its Genworth Financial Asset Management (GFAM) arm. The acquisition will triple Genworth’s fee-based assets under management. Genworth has agreed to pay $230 million, plus up to $110 million in performance-based incentives over five years…

The SEC is releasing added guidance on soft dollar rules that excludes “mass-market publications” and computer equipment; those are not eligible under Section 28(e) guidelines. (The release is at www.sec.gov/news/press/2006/2006-116.htm)…

Thanks to a request by the National Association of Independent Broker/Dealers, the NASD has agreed to put its NASD B Share Expense calculator directly on broker/dealers’ Web sites, so representatives can make A and B share calculations without having to jump to the NASD’s site and back to their own again. (For details, please go to www.naibd.com/index.htm#)…

The NASD has announced “Plain English” Webcasts for compliance officers and staff. The series is free, on-demand via the Web and designed to help broker/dealers make their interactions with the NASD “more productive and efficient”…

Boston-based research firm Celent released a new report, Ranking the Vendors of Wealth Management Technology, 2006: Data Consolidation, with Albridge Solutions topping the high-net-worth category based on the “quality of its data sources and enhanced functionalities in the solution,” while two vendors, CashEdge, based on “breadth of data sources,” and uMonitor for “functionalities and presence in the industry” led the mass affluent segment…

New ETFs use leverage to amplify performance, go short, twice as long, or twice as short. ProShares announced three new sets of ETFs, Ultra ProShares, Short ProShares, and UltraShort ProShares that were seven years in the making, according to Mike Sapir, CEO of ProShare Advisors, LLC, and ProFund Advisors, LLC. The new ETFs enable investors to go short an index or use leverage to magnify short or long index performance. While advisors could short ETFs before, it was hard to borrow the stock and there was unlimited downside, says Sapir.