From CBS Marketwatch.com
Firstar is consolidating all of its mutual funds into one fund group. Following board and shareholder approval, the Mercantile Funds, Firstar Stellar Funds and Firstar Select Funds will all be reorganized into the existing Firstar Funds family. The move follows the merger of the investment management units of Firstar Capital Management and Mississippi Valley Advisors into Firstar Investment Research & Management Company. The reprogrammed Firstar Funds will have 36 mutual funds with nearly $17 billion in assets.
Amvescap shopping spree
From The Wall Street Journal
Yesterday, Amvescap confirmed that it was interested in purchasing Trimark Financial. But Amvescap's shopping spree may be just getting started. The firm is rumored to be interested in British asset manager Perpetual, although talks are believed to be at an early stage. The purchases are indicative of large U.S. and European fund firms' desire to become global powers. For European firms, adding a U.S. link builds credibility on the investing side, while providing valuable distribution expertise in the defined-contribution market. For U.S. firms, adding bulk in Europe and Asia adds growth prospects to a maturing domestic market.
HOLDRs for the timid
The market is saying that the days of fevered speculation may be over, and Merrill Lynch is listening. The firm is expanding its HOLDRs roster to include products for less daring investors. It has filed to launch two new HOLDRs that focus on the relatively tame banking and utility sectors. The nine existing HOLDRs track high-growth areas like B2B and Biotech. Each HOLDR owns 20 of the largest, most liquid stocks in their respective sectors and trades on the American Stock Exchange as a single security.
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