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Rating:Odd Lots, June 23, 1999 Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, June 23, 1999

Odd Lots, June 23, 1999

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

ICI's board proposals are tougher than the SEC's
From The Wall Street Journal -- subscribers only
The Investment Company Institute is getting tough. The expectation is that its "best practice" recommendations on independent mutual-fund directors (due Thursday) will be tougher than the SEC's proposals which should be enacted this summer. The ICI will likely want to: (1) up the recommended ratio of independent directors on mutual-fund boards to at least 67% from 50%; (2) count former senior officials of the fund-management company as "interested" not "independent" directors; (3) have funds provide independent counsel for independent fund directors; (4) create retirement policies for the independent directors, including age or term limits; (5) give independent fund directors control of the board nominating process; (6) form an audit committee for independent fund directors.

Newman's stand at Deutsche Bank
From The New York Post
Visitors to Deutsche Bank's fifty-second street headquarters might be struck by the new lobby exhibit. Instead of the usual artwork, the bank has put up a large video screen showing the happy faces of its employees -- post merger. The exhibit celebrates the unity of Deutsche and what was Bankers Trust. Not all is as friendly as the video display, though. Yesterday Deutsche's executive committee met to decide the fate of former BT Chairman Frank Newman and his slot on the bank's Vorstand. The rumored focus of the meeting: his $15.5 million in take-home. All nine members of the Vorstand combined pull in $16.4 million. The talk is that the Germans don't want the American in their midst. Later this week Newman is scheduled to meet with Deutsche CEO Rolf Breuer.

TD Waterhouse Ups IPO Price
From The Los Angeles Times
Jack White's fund mart was always behind Schwab's in part because it did not have the necessary capital to build systems. That is no longer an excuse now that it is part of TD Waterhouse. The Canadian brokerage has upped the pricing of its IPO to $24 for its 42 million shares. At this price the broker will raise a cool billion and the whole shebang will be valued at $9 billion. The shares start trading today on the NYSE under TWE.

Is there money in on-line brokering?
From The Boston Herald
Fidelity's top line is up 36% in the last year. But its online brokerage is acting more as a brake than an accelerator. As a percentage of revenue Fidelity's brokerage to 8.3% from 11.4% in 1996. Seventy percent of the Boston Behemoth's trades are now executed online compared 14% in 1996. The result: revenue per trade has slipped 40%. Fidelity has a 9.3% share of online trading, according to CS First Boston, this puts it number two behind Schwab's 27% share.

More on Gabelli/Mathers
From Morningstar.Net
Morningstar's Fund Spy asks why Gabelli would buy a stock fund that is 94% invested in cash -- and keep the manager on too. Especially when things are so bad that Tom Mathers tried to have his name removed from the fund. Gabelli's answer is that the Mathers pickup is a "straw hat in January acquisition."

More on the Internet Fund
From TheStreet.com -- subscribers only
The sale of the fund fell through. Manager Ryan Jacob's future is cloudy -- what else is happening? Well, co-founder Peter Doyle is stepping up to become chairman of Kinetics Asset Management, a "senior investment advisor" focusing on risk management. He will work on the marketing and distribution side of the business and add to the fund's asset management staff. Reporter Joe Bousquin writes that "Jacob's status at the fund remains 'a fluid situation' as well."  

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