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Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Focus on Fund Fees

Reported by InvestmentWires Staff, 

Fund fees may be in for more scrutiny after all. Especially in the area of 401(k) plans were the revenue sharing practices of the industry are clouding the path monies take. The New York Times' Eric Baum named Franklin Templeton Investments, OppenheimerFunds, Invesco Funds and Putnam Investments as firms that now offer retirement share classes to compensate advisors. The article noted that the share class may be harmful to investors as they charge 35 to 75 basis points compared to 25 basis points in other classes. Yet, the article fails to mention the practice of using these fees to offset recordkeeping costs and that many bundled vendors price plans based on all in fees.

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John Hancock is eliminating 160 jobs, or approximately 2% of its workforce. The reductions will occur in the corporate headquarters in Boston.

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New York City-based BlackRock has assembled a small and mid cap equity team to be led by Wayne Archambo, formerly a partner of Boston Partners Asset Management out of its Boston office. Also on the team are Kate O'Connor, Todd Rosner, Oona Elliott, Samuel Kidston and William Moore.

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ABN AMRO Fund Family has launched the ABN AMRO/Veredus Select Growth Fund. It will take the same approach as the firm's Aggressive Growth Fund.

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Nationwide Financial has a new variable annuity product. The Best of America ElitePro product offers a four-year contingent deferred sales charge (CDSC) and is targeted at novice variable annuity purchasers. The product uses Nationwide Financial's five "Investor Destinations" lifestyle options as underlying funds. 

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