ew restrictions on sell-side analysts resulting from the collapse of the Nasdaq may cause mutual fund managers to be in more demand. Congress is increasing the disclosure requirements on Wall street analysts. These new requirements combine with the tattered reputation of many "talking heads" may well lead to fund managers taking sell-side analysts place as stock experts on television and in financial publications.
Fund managers are not subject to the same restrictions. They also have a better reputation since they are buyers and not sellers of stock.
This new environment may increase the opportunities for fund firms to place their managers and analysts in the media. For many firms, appearing on media outlets is a keystone of raising awareness and ultimately assets in their funds.
Well-placed quotes in an article, or an appearance on CNBC can be far more cost effective than an expensive ad, says Dan Sondhelm
, a media relations company that helps fund firms.
, who handles media relations at Delaware Investments, agrees with Sondhelm. Delaware has been very successful in building awareness with the media, according to Garriepy. Delaware distributes its funds through intermediaries, not directly to investors.
Delaware uses media mentions and profiles to build a portfolio of reprints for funds that intermediaries can use with clients.
Still, there is a downside to allowing fund managers to appear widely in the media as Fidelity discovered in the mid-nineties. At that time it came under scrutiny when then Magellan-fund manager Jeffrey Vinik mentioned a stock in a magazine interview. Filings later revealed that Magellan was selling the stock at the time the article appeared.
Ultimately, it was determined that a delay in the publication of the interview was the basis for the apparent contradiction. Still, Fidelity has not made managers widely available to the media since that time and restricts them from mentioning specific stocks held in their funds.
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