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Rating:Odd Lots, March 11, 1999 Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, March 11, 1999

Odd Lots, March 11, 1999

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Chicago's Bank One Corp. is rumored to be the leading candidate to purchase St. Louis-based Mercantile Bancorporation Inc., according to the Chicago Tribune. Another company that may be interested is ABN AMRO of Amsterdam, says the Trib. Of course, all party's mentioned in the rumours declined to comment for the paper's story.

What connects milk, beer, and a mutual fund supermarket. As of yesterday the answer is San Francisco ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. E*Trade has tapped the creator of the ``Got Milk'' campaign and Budweiser frogs, to develop high-powered branding advertisements. The budget for the new campaign is reported to be $33 million to $42 million and represents one-third of E-Trade's $100 million to $125 million annual advertising and marketing budget.

Don't take a vacation between Dec. 27 and the first week of January. That's the orders for some employees of Fidelity, according to the Boston Herald. And Fidelity is not alone says the paper. State Street plans to have 1,500 to 2,000 people working the night of December 31. Staffing for the News Years turnover is not the only issue worrying fund companies, the paper adds. Mutual-fund lawyer Joe Barri of Hale and Dorr, is quoted as saying that there's not a single director's meeting where the Y2K subject doesn't come up these days. Fund overseers are worried not just about internal operations, but about investments both foreign and domestic, he said according to the paper.

For another take on the decision by TCW to launch a retail family of mutual funds, take a look a today's Los Angeles Times. The LA paper adds the perspective of John Rekenthaler, director of research at Morningstar, who notes that this is TCW's second foray into the retail fund market this decade. And that their first time didn't turn out as they hoped. 

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