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Rating:Odd Lots, March 8, 2000 Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, March 08, 2000

Odd Lots, March 8, 2000

Reported by Paul Braverman

International Discovery to close
From Morningstar
The sizzling T. Rowe Price International Discovery fund will close to new investors on March 13. The fund gained more than 50% in assets over the past three months and more than 200% over the past year, reaching $1.2 billion. Lead manager Justin Thompson has picked winning technology, telecommunication, and media stocks. T. Rowe is closing the fund because it believes that a large asset base doesn't make sense for a foreign fund that focuses on smaller-cap stocks.

State Street pays up
From The Boston Globe
State Street Global Advisors, the investment arm of Boston's State Street Corp., has ponied up large raises to a "significant number" of its employees. "It was an exercise for us that was probably long overdue," said Marc Simons, State Street Global's COO. Employees report that the raises range for 5% to 40%, and came in the form of cash, bonus, and stock. Simons said State Street won't match the market's top salaries, but the company does want to be in the top 50 percent. "Money has clearly become more of a factor," said Simons.

How does this Internet thing work, anyway?
From The Wall Street Journal
Mutual-fund companies are launching major assaults on cyberspace, but they haven't paid off yet. Online brokerage supermarkets continue to dominate, according to "The Internet and Financial Product Distribution," a report due later this month from Boston consultants Cerulli Associates. "Right now we do not see any overwhelming evidence that the Internet is significantly increasing asset-gathering opportunities for direct mutual funds [through their] Web sites," said John Payne, a consultant.

Do the right thing
From The New York Times
A movement of high-profile investment professionals, including SEC commissioner Paul Carey, is again calling for fund managers to be better corporate citizens. "Mutual funds have abandoned their responsibility for corporate citizenship," said Vanguard founder John Bogle. According to critics, many fund managers rubber stamp management decisions, then abandon the stock if those decisions don't pay off. Both Bogle and Carey suggested that, in the worst case, fund or pension plan managers may have designs on managing that corporation's pension plan, and may vote with management in order to increase their chances of getting that business.  

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