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Rating:Odd Lots, October 13, 1999 Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, October 13, 1999

Odd Lots, October 13, 1999

Reported by Hayley Green

Battling through the clutter
From The Wall Street Journal
A new study expected to be released later this month by Financial Research Corp. and PricewaterhouseCoopers highlights struggle that midsize companies face in marketing their products. The expanses of direct-sales in 1998 added up to 0.47% of gross sales at big firms and 0.4% at small firms, but 1.19% of gross sales at midsize firms. Proving that midsize firms have had to spend more money to get their message across. Furthermore, when times get tight large firms can cut their advertising/marketing budget but for midsize firms to do that they would need to cut their sales forces.

PaineWebber avoids the spotlight
From The Wall Street Journal
PaineWebber Group has made a point of staying out of the spotlight and away from controversy. However, as part of the criminal inquiry into pension-fund investments made by the former treasurer of the state of Connecticut, federal prosecutors are also examining the activities of PaineWebber. At issue: how the brokerage firm received a total of $200 million in investments and commitments into two PaineWebber-managed pension funds from the former state treasurer. The firm is distancing itself from the matter by saying, none of the funds were identified as PaineWebber portfolios, and the firm denies any wrongdoing.

John Hancock gets new chief exec
From The Boston Globe
In the heat of IPO fever, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. said yesterday that its president, David F. D'Alessandro, would succeed Stephen L. Brown as chief executive next June. The Boston Globe says, the change will bring the insurance industry's most unorthodox, flamboyant, and outspoken player to the helm of a once-staid company in the midst of major change. The change was made to settle any fears that shareholders might have when the company goes public.
Other related stories:
  • The Boston Herald

    Taxes and Y2K
    From The Los Angeles Times
    A number of the nation's largest mutual fund firms, including Janus, Alliance Capital and Invesco, say they will speed up annual gains distributions this year because of concerns investors may have about the year 2000 computer bug. This was a suggestion made by the Securities Industry Assn. and Investment Company Institute earlier this year. Taxes have become a bigger issue in recent years and investors have started to put off making new investments into stock funds in the final months of the year for fear of stepping into an immediate capital gains bill. Most funds distribute year-end gains in the last week of December but have moved up their distribution dates a week or two because of Y2K fears.  

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