Lehman Reportedly Eyeing CIBC Oppenheimer
From New York Post
The latest buzz is that Lehman Brothers is in talks to buy CIBC Oppenheimer's retail operations, which includes more than 600 advisors to the high-net-worth market. Neither company would comment on the rumors, according to the report that broke the news in the New York Post. The paper added that Lehman might also be eyeing CIBC Oppenheimer's investment banking business. Lehman itself has been the target of speculation that it will lose its independence in the current round of mergers and acquisitions sweeping financial services. Ironically, the speculation has helped drive Lehman's stock to a twelve-month high, thereby providing the firm with a stronger currency to make its own acquisitions. CIBC purchased Oppenheimer for $525 million in 1997.
401k Participants Learn Arbitrage
From Wall Street Journal
Despite studies showing that frequent trading often harms performance, fund investors are getting more trigger happy, causing a backlash at fund companies. For the 12 months ended in July, 41.5 percent of assets in the average stock fund turned over, according to the Investment Company Institute. This compares to 40 percent at the end of June and 31 percent at the end of July 1998. Surprisingly, the more frequent trading is also taking place in 401(k) accounts, which many in the industry have assumed would be stable money. Indeed, the paper reports that plan providers T. Rowe Price & Associates and Putnam Investments have placed limitation on 401(k) trading as have plan sponsors Ford Motor and Eastman Kodak. One driver of the trading in these accounts is participants trying to arbitrage international funds. Another factor is participants moving assets to an interest-paying fund on Fridays to gain the interest over the weekend and then returning to a stock fund on Monday. In once case, the paper reports that Wanger Asset Management was forced to slightly increase cash in its Acorn fund as "hundreds" of employees in a large retirement plan traded the fund daily. Wanger and the plan sponsor eventually agreed to limit trading in the fund.
Hancock Tries Again with Ad
From USA Today
John Hancock has now recut an ad it is running during the Olympics twice to satisfy critics. Its ''Immigration'' ad features two women discussing a newly adopted Asian baby while in an airport. The first change Hancock made was to cut a line of one woman telling the other: ''You'll make a great mom.'' Later, Hancock again edited the ad after international adoption agencies warned the insurer that Chinese adoption laws forbid gay couples to adopt Chinese infants. The insurer changed the ad to ensure that viewers understood the baby is Cambodian.
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