Archive for 'Investment management'

ING Prime Rate Trust (Trust), a diversified closed-end management investment company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: PPR), has announced today its intention to redeem the remaining portion of its outstanding auction-rate preferred shares (ARPS). The Trust’s Board of Trustees has approved a redemption that will be paid primarily by drawing on leverage available under the Trust’s credit facilities. The redemption would provide liquidity at par for the holders of the remaining ARPS.

The Trust expects to redeem approximately $25 million of the ARPS currently outstanding, approximately 100% by series, subject to satisfying the notice and other requirements that apply to ARPS redemptions. Upon completion of such notice and other requirements, the Trust will issue a formal redemption notice to the paying agent and record holders. The Trust expects to issue a formal redemption notice by the third week of November and anticipates that the redemption of the $25 million of ARPS will be completed by mid- to late December 2011.

In December 2009, the Trust announced its intention to redeem up to $100 million of the $225 million ARPS then outstanding, through a series of four quarterly periodic redemptions of up to $25 million each.  In September 2010, the Trust’s Board of Trustees approved the continuation of the program for quarterly redemptions of the outstanding ARPS of the Trust in amounts of up to $25 million each quarter subject to management’s discretion to modify or cancel the program at any time. The amount and timing of subsequent redemptions of ARPS will be at the discretion of the Trust’s Board of Trustees and management, subject to market conditions and investment considerations.

The Depository Trust Company (DTC) will determine how partial series redemptions will be allocated among each participant broker-dealer account. Each participant broker-dealer, as nominee for its customers who are beneficial owners of the ARPS (street name shareholders), in turn will determine how redeemed shares are to be allocated among its customers. The procedures used by broker-dealers to allocate redeemed shares among beneficial owners may differ from each other as well as from the procedures used by DTC.

SHAREHOLDER INQUIRIES: ING Funds Shareholder Services at (800) 992-0180

Certain statements made on behalf of the Trust in this release may be considered forward-looking statements. The Trust’s actual future results may differ significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors, including but not limited to a decline in value in markets in general or the Trust’s investments specifically. Neither the Trust nor ING undertakes any responsibility to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statement.

ING Investment Management (ING IM) is a leading U.S.-based active asset management firm. As of September 30, 2011, ING IM manages approximately $163 billion for both institutions and individual investors. ING IM has the experience and resources to invest responsibly across asset classes, geographies and investment styles. Through our global asset management network, we provide clients with access to domestic, regional and global investment solutions.

With an emphasis on active management, our investment mission is to find unrecognized value ahead of consensus. To this end, our portfolio management teams seek original insights on markets and securities and a vision of investment potential that differs from the consensus view. We apply our proprietary research and analytics, portfolio diagnostics and risk management to the development of investment solutions in pursuit of our clients’ objectives. We believe this is best achieved by structuring our investment platforms as entrepreneurial, skills-based strategy teams united by shared resources.

ING Investment Management is committed to investing responsibly and delivering client-oriented investment solutions and advisory services across asset classes, geographies and styles. We serve a variety of institutional clients, including public, corporate and union retirement plans, endowments and foundations, and insurance companies, as well as individual investors via intermediary distribution partners such as banks, broker/dealers and independent financial advisers.

CONTACT: Dana Ripley, dana.ripley@us.ing.com, +1-770-980-4865

Equity Markets Drive Pension Funds Higher

Equity Markets Drive Pension Funds Higher

Strong asset returns and no change in liabilities in October drove a 4.7 percentage-point increase in the funded status of the typical U.S. corporate pension plan, according to BNY Mellon Asset Management.  The increase, fueled by strong performances in the equity markets, brought the funded status for the typical plan to 74.8 percent.

Year to date, the funded status has declined 10.3 percentage points, according to the BNY Mellon Pension Summary Report for October.

For the month of October, assets for the typical corporate plan increased 6.8 percent, according to BNY Mellon.  The rebound in equities reversed a three-month trend of falling stock values, the report said.

Plan liabilities are calculated using the yields of long-term investment grade corporate bonds.  As there was no material movement in these yields, the liabilities held steady.

“Apparent progress toward a solution to the European debt crisis resulted in investor optimism,” said Jeffrey B. Saef, managing director, BNY Mellon Asset Management, and head of the Investment Strategy & Solutions Group.  “However, as the probability of a resolution rises and recedes, we see continuing market volatility.”

Saef added that global events such as the European debt crisis and the U.S. budget negotiations have become important factors for pension funds as they make asset allocation decisions.   “If favorable outcomes can be achieved for these issues, it could set the stage for continuing the rally in equities that we saw in October. Such a rally would provide significant relief to the funding pressures that sponsors face.”

Notes to Editors:

BNY Mellon Asset Management is one of the world’s leading asset management organizations, encompassing BNY Mellon’s affiliated investment management firms and global distribution companies. Information about BNY Mellon Asset Management can be found at www.bnymellonam.com.

BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets. BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team. It has $25.9 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.2 trillion in assets under management, services $11.9 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.6 trillion per day. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available at www.bnymellon.com and through Twitter @bnymellon.

All information source BNY Mellon Asset Management as of September 30, 2011. This press release is qualified for issuance in the US only and is for information purposes only. It does not constitute an offer or solicitation of securities or investment services or an endorsement thereof in any jurisdiction or in any circumstance in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful or not authorized. This press release is issued by BNY Mellon Asset Management to members of the financial press and media and the information contained herein should not be construed as investment advice.  Past performance is not a guide to future performance. A BNY Mellon Company(SM)

 

CONTACT: Mike Dunn, +1-212-922-7859, mike.g.dunn@bnymellon.com

Web Site: http://www.bnymellon.com

Precious Metals Take a Dive in September

Precious Metals Take a Dive in September

Precious Metals Take a Dive in September-Image by digitalmoneyworld via Flickr

Nelson Louie, Global Head of Commodities in Credit Suisse’s Asset Management division, said, “Investor and consumer sentiment has continued to deteriorate and this may further impact the rate of economic growth.  However, fundamentals for certain commodities remain positive.  Prices will continue to be sensitive to exogenous shocks (i.e. labor unrest, geo-political risk, weather related disruptions) in the face of tightening global supplies and higher demand over the last several years.  While investors have been increasingly focused on a possible sharp China slowdown this year, the main source of volatility in commodities demand over the coming months may be derived from European economies rather than from China.”

Christopher Burton, Senior Portfolio Manager for the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy, added, “Overall, fiscal and monetary policies in the US and Europe are expected to remain accommodative.  In addition, the amount of easing and the length of the stimulus period are likely to increase as policy makers continue their debate.  Such measures will most likely increase the odds of greater-than-expected inflation over time.  The reconciliation of these issues can impact traditional asset classes and commodities in different ways.  We believe investors will continue to benefit from the long term diversification benefits that commodities provide.”

The Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total Return was down by 14.73% in September.  Overall, 17 out of 19 index constituents decreased in value.  Industrial Metals was the worst performing sector, given the sector’s high correlation with global growth, ending the month down 20.06%.  Signs continued to suggest growth would slow in the developed world while worries over the sustainability of China’s growth intensified.  Chinese and European Purchasing Managers Index (“PMI”) readings came in weaker than expected.  However, Chinese trade data has continued to hold up thus far.  Refined Copper imports continued their recovery from April’s lows; Aluminum imports rose sharply, turning China once more into a net importer; and Zinc imports climbed strongly month-on-month.  Agriculture ended the month lower, losing 18.97%, as grains led the complex lower on improved weather conditions and better-than-expected inventories.  Precious Metals also ended the month lower, losing 15.61%, led by Silver. The flight to US Treasuries and demand for US dollars towards the end of the month resulted in Gold being liquidated alongside other assets.  The Energy sector posted a loss of 11.23%, with all components trading lower.  While global Crude Oil demand growth has slowed from the high base of last year, fundamental data releases remain broadly supportive for the crude complex and demand remains healthy versus historical standards.  Livestock was the strongest sector, gaining 7.65% for September due to continued strong export demand and falling grain prices.

The Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy group periodically produces updates on relevant industry topics. For a copy of the team’s white paper, “Commodities Outlook: Increased Volatility, Increase Opportunity?“, please email csam.commodities@credit-suisse.com.

About the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy

Credit Suisse’s Total Commodity Return Strategy has been managed for 17 years and seeks to outperform the return of a commodities index, such as the Dow Jones–UBS Commodity Index Total Return or the S&P GSCI Total Return Index, using both a quantitative and qualitative commodity research process. Commodity index total returns are achieved through:

  • Spot Return: price return on specified commodity futures contracts;
  • Roll Yield: impact due to migration of futures positions from near to far contracts; and
  • Collateral Yield: return earned on collateral for the futures.

As of September 30, 2011 the team managed approximately USD 10.1 billion in assets globally.

An investment in commodities is not a complete investment program and should represent only a portion of an investor’s portfolio management strategy.  Investment in commodity markets may not be suitable for all investors. Commodity markets are highly volatile and the risk of loss in commodities and commodity-linked investments can be substantial.

Credit Suisse AG

Credit Suisse AG is one of the world’s leading financial services providers and is part of the Credit Suisse group of companies (referred to here as ‘Credit Suisse’). As an integrated bank, Credit Suisse offers clients its combined expertise in the areas of private banking, investment banking and asset management. Credit Suisse provides advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients globally, as well as to retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is headquartered in Zurich and operates in over 50 countries worldwide. The group employs approximately 50,700 people. The registered shares (CSGN) of Credit Suisse’s parent company, Credit Suisse Group AG, are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.

Asset Management

In its Asset Management business, Credit Suisse offers products across a broad spectrum of investment classes, including hedge funds, credit, index, real estate, commodities and private equity products, as well as multi-asset class solutions, which include equities and fixed income products. Credit Suisse’s Asset Management business manages portfolios, mutual funds and other investment vehicles for a broad spectrum of clients ranging from governments, institutions and corporations to private individuals. With offices focused on asset management in 19 countries, Credit Suisse’s Asset Management business is operated as a globally integrated network to deliver the bank’s best investment ideas and capabilities to clients around the world.

All businesses of Credit Suisse are subject to distinct regulatory requirements; certain products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all client types.

Important Legal Information

This document was produced by and the opinions expressed are those of Credit Suisse as of the date of writing and are subject to change without obligation to update. It has been prepared solely for information purposes and for the use of the recipient. It does not constitute an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of Credit Suisse to any person to buy or sell any security. Any reference to past performance is not a guide to future performance. The information and analysis contained in this publication have been compiled or arrived at from sources believed to be reliable but Credit Suisse does not make any representation as to their accuracy or completeness and does not accept liability for any loss arising from the use hereof.

Certain information contained in this document constitutes “Forward-Looking Statements” (including observations about markets and industry and regulatory trends as of the original date of this document), which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “target”, “project”, “estimate”, “intend”, “continue” or “believe”, or the negatives thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. Due to various risks and uncertainties beyond our control, actual events, results or performance may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements. Credit Suisse has no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this document.

Certain risks relating to investing in Commodities and Commodity-Linked Investments:   Exposure to commodity markets should only form a small part of a diversified portfolio. Investment in commodity markets may not be suitable for all investors. Commodity investments will be affected by changes in overall market movements, commodity volatility, exchange-rate movements, changes in interest rates, and factors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as drought, floods, weather, livestock disease, embargoes, tariffs and international economic, political and regulatory developments. Commodity markets are highly volatile. The risk of loss in commodities and commodity-linked investments can be substantial. There is generally a high degree of leverage in commodity investing that can significantly magnify losses. Gains or losses from speculative derivative positions may be much greater than the derivative’s original cost. An investment in commodities is not a complete investment program and should represent only a portion of an investor’s portfolio management strategy.

Copyright © 2011, CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

CONTACT: Katherine Herring, Corporate Communications, +1-212-325-7545, katherine.herring@credit-suisse.com

Web Site: http://www.credit-suisse.com

Commodities Sluggish But Still Outperform Equities

Commodities demonstrated mixed performance in August as market participants grew increasingly concerned about the extent of the global growth slowdown.

Nelson Louie, Global Head of Commodities in Credit Suisse’s Asset Management division, said, “Commodities demonstrated mixed performance in August as weaker macroeconomic data and uncertainty surrounding the state of the global economy continued to impact markets.  Falling consumer confidence, poor non-farm payroll figures, and other weak leading economic indicators are increasing recessionary fears.  However, realized data from July on global industrial production momentum indicated a rebound began in May.  Chinese trade data for July suggests economic activity is still robust, with imports of key commodities remaining strong.  Fundamentals for key commodities look to be growing increasingly tight in the face of strong demand and constraints on supply growth.”

Christopher Burton, Senior Portfolio Manager for the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy, added, “While increased volatility and risk aversion were common themes across capital and commodity markets in August, commodities outperformed equities with the S&P 500 losing 5.43%.  We believe investors will continue to benefit from the diversification benefits that commodities provide.”

The Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total Return was up by 1.00% in August.  Overall, 8 out of 19 index constituents increased in value.  Precious Metals was the strongest sector, gaining 10.10% for August, due to continued strong investor demand.  Agriculture was also a strong performer, up 9.22%, led by grains and Coffee.  Estimates for Corn yield were reduced to lower than the USDA’s latest estimates amid the recent hot and dry weather damaging the developing crop. This may suggest that the USDA will ultimately reduce their production and ending inventory expectations.  Livestock ended the month lower, losing 4.60%, led by Lean Hogs on expectations that previously strong China export demand may ease and that hog weights may improve in the fall.  Higher feed costs also mean livestock may be brought to market sooner than expected.  The Energy sector posted a loss of 4.92%, with all components trading lower.  Fundamental data releases remained broadly supportive for the crude complex, but concerns increased that demand would eventually falter.  Industrial Metals was the worst performing sector, given the sector’s high correlation with global growth, ending the month down 7.48%. Fears of a hard landing in China weighed on the sector, as did concerns growth would slow in the developed world.

The Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy group periodically produces updates on relevant industry topics. For a copy of the team’s white paper, “Commodities Outlook: Increased Volatility, Increase Opportunity?“, please email csam.commodities@credit-suisse.com.

About the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy

Credit Suisse’s Total Commodity Return Strategy has been managed for 17 years and seeks to outperform the return of a commodities index, such as the Dow Jones–UBS Commodity Index Total Return or the S&P GSCI Total Return Index, using both a quantitative and qualitative commodity research process. Commodity index total returns are achieved through:

  • Spot Return: price return on specified commodity futures contracts;
  • Roll Yield: impact due to migration of futures positions from near to far contracts; and
  • Collateral Yield: return earned on collateral for the futures.

As of August 31, 2011 the team managed approximately USD 11.4 billion in assets globally.

An investment in commodities is not a complete investment program and should represent only a portion of an investor’s portfolio management strategy.  Investment in commodity markets may not be suitable for all investors. Commodity markets are highly volatile and the risk of loss in commodities and commodity-linked investments can be substantial.

Credit Suisse AG

Credit Suisse AG is one of the world’s leading financial services providers and is part of the Credit Suisse group of companies (referred to here as ‘Credit Suisse’). As an integrated bank, Credit Suisse offers clients its combined expertise in the areas of private banking, investment banking and asset management. Credit Suisse provides advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients globally, as well as to retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is headquartered in Zurich and operates in over 50 countries worldwide. The group employs approximately 50,700 people. The registered shares (CSGN) of Credit Suisse’s parent company, Credit Suisse Group AG, are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.

Asset Management

In its Asset Management business, Credit Suisse offers products across a broad spectrum of investment classes, including hedge funds, credit, index, real estate, commodities and private equity products, as well as multi-asset class solutions, which include equities and fixed income products. Credit Suisse’s Asset Management business manages portfolios, mutual funds and other investment vehicles for a broad spectrum of clients ranging from governments, institutions and corporations to private individuals. With offices focused on asset management in 19 countries, Credit Suisse’s Asset Management business is operated as a globally integrated network to deliver the bank’s best investment ideas and capabilities to clients around the world.

All businesses of Credit Suisse are subject to distinct regulatory requirements; certain products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all client types.

Important Legal Information

This document was produced by and the opinions expressed are those of Credit Suisse as of the date of writing and are subject to change without obligation to update. It has been prepared solely for information purposes and for the use of the recipient. It does not constitute an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of Credit Suisse to any person to buy or sell any security. Any reference to past performance is not a guide to future performance. The information and analysis contained in this publication have been compiled or arrived at from sources believed to be reliable but Credit Suisse does not make any representation as to their accuracy or completeness and does not accept liability for any loss arising from the use hereof.

Certain information contained in this document constitutes “Forward-Looking Statements” (including observations about markets and industry and regulatory trends as of the original date of this document), which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may”, “will”, “should”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “target”, “project”, “estimate”, “intend”, “continue” or “believe”, or the negatives thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. Due to various risks and uncertainties beyond our control, actual events, results or performance may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such statements. Credit Suisse has no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements in this document.

Certain risks relating to investing in Commodities and Commodity-Linked Investments: Exposure to commodity markets should only form a small part of a diversified portfolio. Investment in commodity markets may not be suitable for all investors. Commodity investments will be affected by changes in overall market movements, commodity volatility, exchange-rate movements, changes in interest rates, and factors affecting a particular industry or commodity, such as drought, floods, weather, livestock disease, embargoes, tariffs and international economic, political and regulatory developments. Commodity markets are highly volatile. The risk of loss in commodities and commodity-linked investments can be substantial. There is generally a high degree of leverage in commodity investing that can significantly magnify losses. Gains or losses from speculative derivative positions may be much greater than the derivative’s original cost. An investment in commodities is not a complete investment program and should represent only a portion of an investor’s portfolio management strategy.

Copyright © 2011, CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

CONTACT: Katherine Herring, Corporate Communications, +1-212-325-7545, katherine.herring@credit-suisse.com

Web Site: http://www.credit-suisse.com

Investors expect to increase commodity investments over the next 12 months, even though short-term uncertainty is keeping them on the sidelines for now, according to a new survey by Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse conducted the survey as part of its inaugural 2011 New York City Commodities Day on Tuesday, June 28, with a gathering of nearly 400 clients covering a wide cross section of institutional investors, retail distributors, mutual funds and hedge funds.

The survey found that 36% of investors classified themselves as currently “underweight” in commodities, with a further 10% having zero exposure. However, when asked about their expected investment level over the next 12 months, 40% expected to become “overweight” commodities and only 3% as still having zero exposure.

Two-thirds ( 65%) of respondents believe that commodities prices in 12 months will be around current levels or higher, with roughly half of those expecting prices to be at least 10% higher. That compares with only 13% that expect prices to be at least 10% lower, but a significant proportion (23%) admitted to having “no idea”.

Despite the recent moderation in oil prices, investors remain bullish on crude oil, with 76% believing that the oil price has yet to peak. Dismissing a dominant role of market speculation in determining oil prices, 72% said they believe energy prices are primarily driven by market fundamentals. Copper remains the favorite base metal, with 59% seeing it has having the best 12-month outlook of the group. However, the price path for commodities is expected to remain challenging, with 55% expecting realized price volatility to increase over the next 12 months.

The survey also examined the trend away from broad market benchmarks into more specialized products for commodity exposures. 45% of respondents said they view commodity ETFs as likely to receive the greatest asset flow, while 40% saw active indices and fundamentally based directional trading as the key growth areas. In comparison, only 5% said beta benchmarks will be growth products within commodities. In a separate question about Dodd-Frank regulatory changes, 74% said they expect no significant impact on their commodities investment activities.

“Overall sentiment towards commodities as an asset class is constructive, but investors are under allocated due to concerns about short term direction and volatility,” said Oscar Bleetstein, Head of Commodity Investor Sales for the Americas at Credit Suisse.  “However, the survey confirmed our views that if and when confidence starts to return, investors are likely to increase exposure significantly and find managers or products that can accommodate this new environment.”

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse AG is one of the world’s leading financial services providers and is part of the Credit Suisse group of companies (referred to here as ‘Credit Suisse’). As an integrated bank, Credit Suisse offers clients its combined expertise in the areas of private banking, investment banking and asset management. Credit Suisse provides advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients globally, as well as to retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is headquartered in Zurich and operates in over 50 countries worldwide. The group employs approximately 50,100 people. The registered shares (CSGN) of Credit Suisse’s parent company, Credit Suisse Group AG, are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.

Investment Banking

In its Investment Banking business, Credit Suisse offers securities products and financial advisory services to users and suppliers of capital around the world. Operating in 57 locations across 30 countries, Credit Suisse is active across the full spectrum of financial services products including debt and equity underwriting, sales and trading, mergers and acquisitions, investment research, and correspondent and prime brokerage services.

Asset Management

In its Asset Management business, Credit Suisse offers products across a broad spectrum of investment classes, including hedge funds, credit, index, real estate, commodities and private equity products, as well as multi-asset class solutions, which include equities and fixed income products. Credit Suisse’s Asset Management business manages portfolios, mutual funds and other investment vehicles for a broad spectrum of clients ranging from governments, institutions and corporations to private individuals. With offices focused on asset management in 19 countries, Credit Suisse’s Asset Management business is operated as a globally integrated network to deliver the bank’s best investment ideas and capabilities to clients around the world.

All businesses of Credit Suisse are subject to distinct regulatory requirements; certain products and services may not be available in all jurisdictions or to all client types.

http://www.credit-suisse.com

European Banks to Make Drastic Changes

To compete more effectively with foreign and independent asset management companies and unlock the franchise value of their investment subsidiaries, Continental Europe’s banks and insurers, owners of over euro 12 trillion in managed assets, must embrace significant structural changes, according to a new report by Casey, Quirk & Associates, a management consultant focused on the global asset management business.

While the wholly owned asset managers of Continental Europe’s banks and insurers control approximately 30% of the world’s total in managed assets, their growth rate in the five years through 2010 trails that of U.K., U.S., and Australian counterparts, and they have steadily lost market share to foreign entrants in their principal market, long-term European mutual funds, according to Casey Quirk’s white paper, Untapped Opportunity: Realizing Value in Continental Europe’s Asset Managers. By adopting growth strategies highlighted in the study, Continental Europe’s banks and insurers can unlock an additional euro 175 billion of franchise value from their asset managers by 2015, increase revenues by 24%, and add euro 2 trillion-plus in new client money.

Offering equity linked to long-term asset management performance will help European banks and insurers battle more effectively in the war for talent, according to the report. Investing in distribution channels that are not affiliated with the parent banks and insurers is another crucial growth initiative, according to the Casey Quirk study, along with rationalizing the array of investment products offered, and determining whether to fully globalize or retrench to concentrate on select European markets.

“These changes will spur growth in Continental Europe’s asset managers and make them as competitive as their foreign counterparts, both at home and abroad,” said Kevin Quirk, partner at Casey Quirk and one of the report’s authors. “Moreover, these enhancements will create significant value for their parent banks and insurers, a critical advantage in Europe’s crowded financial services marketplace, where fierce competition for shareholder capital has begun.”

Continental Europe’s asset management operations are worth approximately euro 150 billion today, according to Casey Quirk’s analysis. That’s the equivalent of approximately 7% of the current estimated enterprise value of Continental Europe’s banks and insurers. Optimizing growth strategies recommended in the report – through a combination of stronger asset-gathering, higher fee realization, and greater efficiencies – would boost their valuation to a level approximately that of listed money managers, according to Casey Quirk.

“Historically, Continental European banks and insurers have viewed their asset management operations more as utilities that provide services to their other core businesses,” said Ben Phillips, a Casey Quirk partner and co-author of the report. “The 2008 global financial crisis significantly changed perceptions within Continental European banks and insurers by illuminating the inherent value asset management can have relative to other financial services franchises. Shareholders, too, increasingly realize this and are willing to pay a premium for financial services companies with vibrant asset management businesses.”

About Casey, Quirk & Associates LLC

Established in 1987, Casey, Quirk & Associates is a management consultant focused solely on advising investment management firms worldwide. We help our clients develop business growth strategies, improve investment product prospects, evaluate new opportunities, and enhance incentive alignment structures. Our industry knowledge and experience, proprietary data, and global network of relationships make Casey Quirk the leading advisor to the owners and senior executives of investment management firms globally. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.caseyquirk.com

Source: Casey, Quirk & Associates LLC

Rich Chimberg, +1-617-244-9007 (work), +1-617-312-4281 (mobile), rich@cl-media.com, or Sarah Lazarus, +1-978-369-4478 (work), +1-617-335-7823 (mobile), sarah@cl-media.com, both of CL-Media Relations, LLC

Forex Markets Easier to Access With New App

Available now for immediate download and use, BNY Mellon Connect(SM) Mobile debuts with client access to Liquidity DIRECT(SM) Mobile and Global Markets Research Mobile, other offerings to follow

BNY Mellon, the global leader in investment management and investment services, today announced the launch of BNY Mellon Connect(SM) Mobile,  a new application that gives clients access to BNY Mellon product and service offerings via an iPad®.  Available for download at the iTunes App Store, BNY Mellon Connect(SM) Mobile debuts with a link to foreign exchange research from BNY Mellon Global Markets and a link to Liquidity DIRECT(SM)  Mobile, which makes available via an iPad many of the transactional, reporting and account management features of Liquidity DIRECT(SM), BNY Mellon’s cash investment  tool for institutional investors.

As a leading provider of foreign exchange research, BNY Mellon Global Markets provides clients with a wealth of currency markets research, including a weekly currency markets preview; daily reports keyed to market openings in Europe, North America and Asia; and BNY Mellon’s iFlow(SM) analysis of global investment flows.  BNY Mellon Connect(SM) Mobile will give Global Markets clients access to this full suite of research products formatted for easy access via an iPad®.

Liquidity DIRECT(SM) Mobile allows clients to take the power of Liquidity DIRECT(SM) with them wherever they go.  Clients can easily monitor and manage their cash investments via their iPad® without being tied to their desktop.  Liquidity DIRECT(SM) enables institutional clients to access a wide range of money market funds, provide custody for margin balances in counterparty transactions, and invest directly in individual money market securities through BNY Mellon’s full service broker-dealer. It also gives users access to a wealth of Liquidity DIRECT(SM)’s account performance and investment information, such as money market fund yields, returns and credit ratings.  Liquidity DIRECT Mobile(SM) allows clients to invest, redeem and transfer cash via an iPad®-compatible version of Liquidity DIRECT(SM).  It also gives users access to Liquidity DIRECT(SM)’s wealth of account performance and investment information, such as money market fund yields, returns and credit ratings.

Reflecting its ability to support client transactions, Liquidity DIRECT(SM) Mobile was designed with crucial security features, including the option of  dual authorization, which allows trades to be entered, but holds them as pending until verified by a second authorized point of client contact.  This functionality can apply to an extensive array of investment transactions including all deposits, transfers and redemptions.

“BNY Mellon Connect(SM) Mobile marks an important milestone in our ongoing adaptation of Web-based offerings to mobile devices,” said John Fiore, executive vice president and chief information officer for IT worldwide at BNY Mellon.  “Making available via a single, easy-to-access portal a family of product and service offerings specially designed for the iPad®, BNY Mellon Connect(SM) Mobile adds new dimensions of accessibility and convenience to our clients’ experience with BNY Mellon technology.  We will be updating our mobile portal with additional features and functions in the coming months.”

“As the first institutional investment portal adapted specifically for an iPad®, Liquidity DIRECT(SM) Mobile continues our tradition of introducing first-to-market, client-focused cash investment technologies,”  said Jonathan Spirgel, executive vice president and global head of Liquidity Services at BNY Mellon. “We’re going to maintain our innovation momentum by introducing iPhone® and Android adaptations of Liquidity DIRECT(SM) Mobile during the second half of the year.”

“Two important contributors to our leadership position in the FX market have been the depth and timeliness of our research based on our proprietary data, and our track record for successful e-commerce innovation.  The debut of our FX research on the BNY Mellon iPad® app reflects both traditions, and sets the stage for the debut of our Web-based FX portal later this year,” said Jorge Rodriguez, executive vice president and head of global FX sales for BNY Mellon Global Markets.

BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets. BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team. It has $25.5 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.2 trillion in assets under management, services $11.9 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.7 trillion per day. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE:BK). Additional information is available at www.bnymellon.com.

BNY Mellon Global Markets includes the Foreign Exchange and Derivatives businesses of The Bank of New York Mellon together with the securities business of BNY Mellon Capital Markets, LLC, a SEC registered broker dealer, indirect-wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation and member of FINRA and SIPC.  These three Global Markets businesses provide products for corporate, institutional and high-net-worth investors to access liquidity, identify and execute investment and hedging strategies as well as manage risk. With foreign exchange sales and trading desks in New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, London, Brussels, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Taipei and Seoul,  The Bank of New York Mellon has access to more than 100 currency markets, and is recognized by industry publications as a global leader in FX research and FX technology. BNY Mellon’s derivatives business offers tailored hedging products based in the interest rate, currency and equity markets and BNY Mellon Capital Markets underwrites and transacts on Exchange and over the counter markets in a broad range of debt and equity securities. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation and its affiliates lend and provide other products and services to issuers and others, and provide and receive related fees and compensation. For more information, visit gm.bankofny.com.

Money market mutual funds available through Liquidity DIRECT(SM) are offered by The Bank of New York Mellon.  The Bank of New York Mellon, DFIC Branch is communicating matters relating to offshore funds on behalf of The Bank of New York Mellon, which is registered in the UK by the Financial Services Authority.   Securities products and services other than money market securities available through Liquidity DIRECT(SM)  are offered by BNY Mellon Capital Markets.

The instruments available through Liquidity DIRECT(SM) are not suitable for all investors. Liquidity DIRECT does not provide individually tailored investment advice or offer tax, regulatory, accounting or legal advice. Not everyone is entitled to open an account.  Investors should read all offering materials, including prospectuses, for any investment product and consider the economic risks, merits, investment objectives and expenses carefully before investing, as well as the legal, tax, regulatory and accounting consequences.  Any discussion of risks herein should not be considered to be a disclosure of all risks or complete discussion of the risks which are mentioned.

Money market securities are not the equivalent of cash, they involve certain risks, including loss of principal, and are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed by, any bank and are not insured by the FDIC.  Money market fund yields may fluctuate even though they seek to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 per share. Accordingly, it is possible to lose money by investing in these securities. Certain fund shares are offered only to pre-qualified investors in certain jurisdictions; secondary markets may not exist in all jurisdictions for any particular instrument or investment. Additional risks exist with foreign investments. This is not an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where such an offer would be illegal. US investors are not permitted to purchase non US registered funds; such securities are not registered with the US SEC, and are offered based on an exemption pursuant to Regulation S of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Not all obligations of the U.S. government or its agencies and instrumentalities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury.  Treasuries are affected by certain types of risk, principally interest-rate risk and inflation risk. Commercial paper is not usually backed by any form of collateral, although there may be back up lines of credit or back up liquidity.

Past performance of any investment is not indicative of nor a guarantee of future performance, and a loss of original capital may occur.

Securities Products: Not FDIC-Insured — Subject to Loss in Value — Not a Deposit of or Guaranteed by a Bank or any Bank Affiliate.

CONTACT: Ron Gruendl, +1-412-234-7157, ron.gruendl@bnymellon.com, or Ron Sommer, +1-412-236-0082, ron.sommer@bnymellon.com

Web Site: http://www.bnymellon.com

The funded status of the typical U.S. corporate pension plan in May fell 2.3 percentage points to 86.9 percent, erasing nearly half of the gains achieved since the beginning of the year and ending an eight-month period of steady improvement, according to monthly statistics published by BNY Mellon Asset Management.

“The sudden reversal in May reflected the impact of lower Treasury yields as investor concern grew regarding the European sovereign debt situation,” said Peter Austin, executive director of BNY Mellon Pension Services, the pension services arm of BNY Mellon Asset Management.  “We have experienced a very good run in funded status improvement since August 2010, and many plan sponsors were turning their attention to establishing asset allocation targets based on continued improvement in plan funding levels.”

The decline in the funded ratio was driven by falling interest rates, as the Aa corporate discount rate dropped 16 basis points to 5.34 percent, according to the BNY Mellon Pension Summary Report for May 2011. Plan liabilities are calculated using the yields of long-term investment grade corporate bonds.  Lower yields on these bonds result in higher liabilities.

In addition, assets in the typical corporate plan in May fell 0.3 percent, as the U.S. equity markets lost 1.1 percent and international developed stock markets dipped 3.0 percent, according to the report.

“The results in May reinforced the message that serious economic challenges continue to exist in the U.S. and  global markets, which may negatively impact plan funded status,” Austin said.  “With inflation becoming less of a near-term concern, we expect that some plan sponsors will revisit their asset allocation strategy and consider whether now is the time to preserve some of the funding gains achieved between September 2010 and April 2011.”

Notes to Editors:

BNY Mellon Asset Management is the umbrella organization for BNY Mellon’s affiliated investment management firms and global distribution companies.

BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets. BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team. It has $25.5 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.2 trillion in assets under management, services $11.9 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.7 trillion per day. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available at www.bnymellon.com.

All information source BNY Mellon Asset Management as of March 31, 2011. This press release is qualified for issuance in the US only and is for information purposes only. It does not constitute an offer or solicitation of securities or investment services or an endorsement thereof in any jurisdiction or in any circumstance in which such offer or solicitation is unlawful or not authorized. This press release is issued by BNY Mellon Asset Management to members of the financial press and media and the information contained herein should not be construed as investment advice.  Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

A BNY Mellon Company(SM)

CONTACT: Mike Dunn, +1-212-922-7859, mike.g.dunn@bnymellon.com

Web Site: http://www.bnymellon.com

Stock Market Investing for Secure Returns

Stock Market Investing

Stock Market Investing-Image via Wikipedia

Catherine Avery Investment Management (CAIM LLC) released a report today expounding the benefits of dividends, including how her firm utilizes a focused approach that makes the most of a secure total return investing strategy. This report can be downloaded from the CAIM website at www.caimllc.com.

“The primary purpose of this report is to provide valuable information to investors who are navigating in these uncertain times,” explained Catherine Avery, CAIM founder and CEO. “The statistics we have gathered in this report reinforce our strong belief that overall in up and down markets, these have compelling benefits. Companies are always subject to their own individual risks, but these particular companies, which have geographic diversity, balance sheet strength, a history of long term earnings and dividend growth, and strong brands, are naturally hedged against risks.”

Key Highlights from the Report:

– Dividends are a Total Return Product

The essence of dividend investing is the fact that dividend stocks are a “total return” product. When an investor buys a dividend paying stock, not only will he have the opportunity to benefit from the stock price performance, but he will also benefit from the yield provided by the dividend issued by the company.

– Dividends “Put Money in Thy Purse.”

Historically more than half of the total returns investors received by investing in the S&P 500 have come from dividends. Since the 1930s, dividends have comprised 51.5% of the total returns received by investors in the best-known index. Dividends accounted for more than half of investors’ total returns during five of the last eight (62.5%) decades, and since the index was actually down during the 1930s and 2000s, dividends were the only source of return during those years.

– Dividends Are En Vogue

As of the end of 2010, companies are holding $1.93 trillion in cash on their balance sheets, according to the Federal Reserve. These very same companies are returning cash to shareholders by increasing dividends at historic rates and are on track to issue more dividends this year than last. As of the end of the first quarter of 2011, dividend increases totaled $22.2 billion, compared to just $8.7 billion in the prior year. The total for the entirety of 2010 was $20.65 billion. Today is as good a time as ever to invest in dividend paying stocks.

– Fat Tails? Choose Fat Dividends

Since the financial crisis and the flash crash, investors have heightened sensitivity to abnormal and unforeseen risk (“tail risk”) in the markets. Dividend stocks are a natural hedge against potential tail risk because in general companies that pay dividends have strong balance sheets and business longevity. Dividend yield only increases when stock prices tumble, creating excellent buying opportunities. In this report we outline how we choose our dividend portfolio based on the best companies, not the largest dividends, best positioned to withstand tail risk situations.

Catherine Maniscalco Avery

Catherine Maniscalco Avery is the CEO and Chief Strategist at CAIM LLC. In her more than 25 years as a portfolio manager — investing in both domestic and international securities markets. On an individual basis, she has been personally responsible for portfolios totaling more than $750 million and as a member of a larger portfolio management team, she has shared responsibility for managing more than $14 billion on behalf of investors. After working at number of leading investment firms in the U.S., including Morgan Stanley and Shearson Lehman Hutton, she left in 2007 to found CAIM LLC to more specifically service the growing demographic of Women and Baby Boomers. With the polling company, inc./WomanTrend, CAIM jointly released the groundbreaking study entitled: “What Women Want: Understanding The Modern Female Investor which identified key themes impacting today’s women investors. She is also a contributor to ThirdAge, the largest and longest established website for Baby Boomers. Catherine is widely regarded as an expert in Women and Baby Boomer investing speaking on these topics regularly and appearing in the media often in such publications as The New York Times, Financial Planning Magazine, CFA Magazine, Consumer’s Digest, National Post of Canada, Fox Business.

CAIM LLC

CAIM LLC is an independent, owner-run investment management firm specializing in managing customized investment portfolios for women and baby boomers. The backbone of Catherine Avery Investment Management (CAIM) is our core investment philosophy: Take a long-term perspective, create well diversified investment portfolios, and employ a classic investment philosophy including low volatility dividend paying equities.

CONTACT: Alexandra Preate, +1-917-748-6537, apreate@capitalhq.com

Web Site: http://www.caimllc.com

To promote investing in passive index funds, many financial advisors quote statistics on how most actively-managed mutual funds underperform their benchmark index. Yet, a lower percentage of index funds beat their benchmark than actively-managed funds. Read InvestSimply’s new report to learn how index investors can still come out ahead.

InvestSimply today announced the publication of their latest whitepaper: “Five Secrets of Index Fund Investing.” The rallying cry of many people preaching the gospel of index investing is that most active fund managers can’t beat their benchmark index, so if you invest in passive index funds, you will come out ahead. Yet very few index funds beat their benchmark. In fact, a lower percentage of index funds outperform their benchmark index than actively-managed funds.

This is just one of five investing secrets illustrated in this new whitepaper from InvestSimply, a web-based portfolio management service. “Although we are strong believers in the superiority of index funds,” said InvestSimply’s founder Steven Geri, CFA, “investors need to be aware of the dogma surrounding passive investing and invest with a balanced understanding of what is required to succeed.”

Five Secrets Successful Index Fund Investor Should Know:

  1. Almost All Index Funds Underperform Their Benchmark Index
  2. Fund Expenses Matter – A Lot
  3. Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) May Be Better than Index Mutual Funds
  4. Similar Sounding Index Funds Track Different Indices
  5. Asset Allocation Trumps Fund Selection

Download complete whitepaper at: http://www.investsimply.com/5secrets

“Investors in passive index funds can likely outperform most actively-managed fund investor, but it is not automatic,” Mr. Geri added. “As with other uninformed decisions, blindly investing in index funds can be hazardous to your wealth.” Realizing your best investment return still requires good decisions based on thorough analysis and deep investment knowledge.

InvestSimply is a web-based portfolio management service and an SEC registered investment advisor. Investors select a diversified, risk-managed investment portfolio after completing an online survey of their investment experience, time horizon and other factors. InvestSimply’s investment recommendations are made independently, based on analytical research, and not influenced by any brokerage firm, investment bank or mutual fund company’s self-serving interests.

Investors may obtain more information on InvestSimply by visiting the website at http://www.investsimply.com

Contact:  Steven Geri, InvestSimply, 800-928-6170

Web Site: http://www.investsimply.com

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