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Thursday, February 18, 2010

American Funds Speaks to the Press

News summary by MFWire's editors

Capital Group, the power behind the popular advisor-sold American Funds, is notoriously media shy, but as Abby Johnson proved earlier this week in her speech at the NICSA conference, even titans speak out once in a while. Fundsters intrigued by American Funds and its recent woes may want to take a look at a Thursday Bloomberg article by Christopher Condon; Capital Research and Management Co. chairman James Rothenberg granted Condon a rare interview.

Overstating the significance of Rothenberg's move may be difficult. American Funds normally never issues press releases or grants interviews, though its spokespeople do respond to specific press inquiries. The Rothenberg interview comes after the Los Angeles-based fund giant suffered $33 billion in total outflows (retail and institutional combined) in 2009, and according to Bloomberg, it's the first interview he's given in five years.

The long article offers a look at Capital Group's investing strategies, at the reactions of some advisors and on where the firm is going. Rothenberg and his team reiterated that the fund firm's dedication to its existing distribution and investing strategies.

"There are a lot of things we could do to grow sales," Rothenberg said. "But we won't do them."

"Market share is not our objective," Martin Romo, Capital Group's head of research, told Bloomberg. "The great majority of our history, we've been selling something that people don't want to buy: advice. And it's not our obligation to change the advice to make you feel better." 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor


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