Organization Represents Advisors And Managers
A new organization will act as a liaison between investment advisors and asset managers.

The Investment Managers and Advisors Alliance, based in New York City, is being launched to promote communication between the two groups, benefit investors and become the public face of investment advisors.

Members will include investment advisors, asset managers and their product and service providers. The group's founding chairman is Ken Gutwillig, chief investment officer of Financial Decisions, an investment advisory firm based in New York for high-net-worth individuals, corporations, trusts and charities.

Stephen Perl, who will serve as IMAA's co-director, is a regional director for Connecticut and
New York for Calamos Investments.

Paul Leibowitz, also an IMAA co-director, is founder and president of Leibowitz Communications, a marketing strategy and design firm, and managing partner of Sugerspun Industries, a Web design agency.

"The IMAA's immediate goal is to help restore confidence in the markets and investment professionals through national public-service advertising campaigns," Gutwillig says. "We will borrow from the playbook of the recent presidential campaigns and employ new media strategies and viral marketing, as well as traditional media outlets."
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Grail Creates New ETFs
Grail Advisors, San Francisco, has launched four new actively managed RiverPark ETFs: RP Growth ETF, RP Focused Large Cap Growth ETF, RP Technology ETF and RP Financials ETF.

The ETFs are actively managed and have a single stock picker. Unlike other single-manager ETFs, the new Grail offerings will allow portfolio managers unrestricted trading.

iShares Announces New Fund
iShares has introduced iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index Fund to coincide with renewed interest in emerging markets.

The fund tracks the MSCI Emerging Markets Eastern Europe Index, which measures equity market performance in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia.

Islamic Developing World Fund Offered
Saturna Capital Corp., advisor to the Amana Mutual Funds Trust, has launched the Amana Developing World Fund, targeted for American Muslim investors. It is the third Amana fund that complies with Islamic (sharia) principles.
Those principles require that investors share in profits and losses, receive no interest, avoid debt and eschew investments in businesses not permitted by Islamic law.  Prohibited businesses include pork processing, gambling, liquor, insurance and interest-based banks or finance associations.

The fund will invest in companies that have the majority of their assets and generate most of their revenue in emerging-market countries, but that may be headquartered in both developing and more advanced economies.

State Street Global Launches ETF
State Street Global Advisors, the investment management arm of State Street Corp. in Boston,has launched the SPDR S&P VRDO Municipal Bond ETF.

The ETF is designed to provide investors with access to municipal variable-rate demand obligations (VRDOs), which generate income and are exempt from federal taxes and from many state and local income taxes.

The index, which includes VRDOs issued by states, local governments and agencies, provides exposure to 377 issues.

Service AllowsAdvisors To Outsource Back-Office Tasks
Tamarac Advisor-Services Inc., Seattle, has launched a service that lets advisors outsource back-office tasks, improve their performance reporting and bolster the firm's brand.

Through its Web-based platform, Advisor 9, Tamarac provides rebalancing, trading, performance reporting and a customized version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Advisor 9 integrates Schwab Performance Technologies and PortfolioCenter for portfolio accounting and MoneyGuidePro for financial planning.