To achieve their goals in the coming decade, high-net-worth investors must abandon some conventional ideas-prompted by an unprecedented seismic shift in the investing and planning landscape-and accept the new realities of investing and planning, according to a new white paper, "2020 Vision: The Most Critical Decade," released September 14 by BNY Mellon Wealth Management. "The reality is that more investors are likely to fall short of their goals than in any time in the past 50 years," said Larry Hughes, CEO of BNY Mellon Wealth Management, adding that investors now face "extreme uncertainty in terms of investing or constructing effective wealth and estate plans." The paper explores the need for investment innovation and discipline, investor awareness of hidden shortcomings in their existing plans, and the necessity of reassessing the traditional client-advisor relationship.
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., New York, announced on September 14 the formation of its Private Capital Group within the company's Investment Banking division. The group will be responsible for originating, structuring and raising private capital for alternative investment funds and investment vehicles as well as public and private companies. It recently acted as a financial advisor to Cantor Commercial Real Estate Company, a real estate financial business that announced its formation in August. Private Capital Group will be headed by Garett Stoffels, formerly of Bear Sterns, and Steven Tuch, formerly of Deutsche Bank.
Milliman, Inc., a consulting and actuarial firm in Seattle, on September 14 released an update to its Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index, which consists of 100 of the nation's largest defined benefit pension plans, showing that in August these plans experienced asset declines of $17 billion and liability increases of $91 billion, resulting in a $108 billion decline in pension funded status for the month. The decline brings the funded ratio down to 70.1%-the lowest in the ten-year history of this study.
The European Life Settlements Association (ELSA) on September 13 announced the formation of a new Regulatory Committee to engage with regulators across the European Union, and to help ensure better regulation of life settlements as a rapidly growing asset class. The new committee will be chaired by insurance-linked securities attorney Brian T. Casey, a partner at U.S. law firm Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP. Mary Schapiro, chairman of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, commented that when the SEC launched its report on life settlements in July, the asset class called out for enhanced and coordinated regulatory oversight to protect investors, according to ELSA chairman Patrick McAdams.
West Virginia-based Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc., a $1.1 billion bank holding company with eight bank subsidiaries, on September 10 announced that Citizens Deposit Bank and Trust, a subsidiary, has completed the purchase of four branches of Integra Bank National Association located in Maysville and Mt. Olivet, Kentucky, and Ripley and Aberdeen, Ohio. Citizens will assume about $73.4 million of deposit liabilities related to the four branches and acquire $17.8 million of branch related loans, as well as $34.0 million of additional commercial real estate and $10.0 million of other commercial loans selected by Citizens originated from other Integra offices.
Early estimates, reported on September 9, indicate the Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index ("Broad Index") will post positive performance of 0.22% in August (based on 70% of assets in the index reporting), bringing YTD performance to 2.46%. The industry outperformed global equity markets, as represented by the Dow Jones Global Index, which fell 3.62% in August and is down 6.08% YTD. Dow Jones Indexes also noted that Global Macro hedge fund managers were among the top performers in August, finishing up 2.57% as managers capitalized on long interest rate and short Euro positions, while equities exposure continued to represent a small portion of overall portfolio risk as managers attempted to avoid the negative effects of recent equity market volatility.
Tickerspy, Princeton, N.J., a free, stock market-focused Web site that lets users track over 250 proprietary indexes and institutional holdings, announced on September 14 the creation of the Hurricane Stocks Index, which includes Home Depot, Lowe's, Waste Management, The Shaw Group and Global Industries. This index is up 7.8% over the last month, as investors monitored Hurricane Earl and the peaking Atlantic hurricane season, and is ahead of the S&P 500 by 16% since the start of 2008, according to the company.
It is traditionally thought that $3 million to $5 million is the minimum practical size for a private foundation, notes the non-profit American Endowment Foundation (whose sole business is donor-advised Fund administration), yet over 32,000, or 86% of total private family foundations have assets less than $5 million. The Wall Street Journal writes that an increasing number of private foundations is terminating into DAFs, a trend that may represent an opportunity for advisors to assist families struggling with private foundation issues. Need help collapsing a private foundation into a donor advised fund? Go to www.aefonline.org for articles of interest, or call Laura Malone at 1-888-440-4233.
Torchmark Corporation, a Texas-based holding company specializing in life and supplemental health insurance, announced on September 14 that its subsidiary, Liberty National Life Insurance Company, has signed an agreement to sell its wholly owned subsidiary, United Investors Life Insurance Company, to Protective Life Corporation for a purchase price of approximately $316 million. A closing date of December 31, 2010, is expected.
The Wealth Management Group at Madison, N.J.-based community bank Provident Bank in August launched a new soup-to-nuts wealth management account as an alternative to traditional status-icon "black" credit cards, according to Chris Martin, Provident president and CEO. Called Provident Signature Wealth, the account offers clients a dedicated wealth advisor, an exclusive line of credit, a linked checking account, and other services. For information about Provident's Signature Wealth call (877) 631-8835 or visit www.ProvidentNJ.com\asset-management.
ETF Research Center, New York City, the online portal for financial advisors and individual investors to access AltaVista's analysis of exchange traded funds, on September 13 launched Portfolio Builder. The new tool allows users to screen, analyze and now build portfolios using ETFs in a disciplined, forward-looking manner (as opposed to the traditional approach of relying primarily on past price returns). More information is available at www.etfresearchcenter.com.
FIG Partners 6th Annual CEO Forum is slated for September 20 & 21, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. A self-described annual "Woodstock" of ideas and information, the event will feature panel discussions with leading bank CEOs and one-on-one meetings with investors. FIG Partners LLC is an employee-owned broker/dealer specializing in financial institutions. For information call 404-601-7200 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are we headed for a bear market? How about a 3-D economy, characterized by a double-dip recession coupled with deflation? Find out during the S&P Equity Research Q3 2010 Webinar, scheduled for September 28 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. The teleconference will be hosted by Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist for S&P's Equity Research, and led by the company's senior equity strategists and economists. To register go to www.standardandpoors.com and click on "Products & Services."
At the Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst Conference, September 28-29 in New York, private equity experts will address critical issues brought about by increased government regulation and taxes during a period of economic instability here and abroad. Erik Hirsh, CIO at Hamilton Lane, is the keynote speaker. The conference focus? How to assess these changes and what firms must do to navigate-and profit from-the industry's latest challenges and opportunities. To register or review the complete agenda, visit peaconference.dowjones.com.
Opal Financial Group, New York, which coordinates institutional investment conferences designed for high-net-worth individuals and executives in various funds, family offices, foundations, banks, and planning firms, will host the Global Asset Allocation Summit, October 3-5, at The Encore, Las Vegas. The conference will explore strategies and techniques employed to augment returns and mitigate risk in global asset allocation. For information, including sponsorship, exhibiting, and speaking opportunities, call 212-532-9898 x 275.
Learn what sub-advisors do to help funds maximize returns in a complex economy, and how funds go about developing successful relationships with sub-advisors, at Financial Research Associates' 10th Annual Sub-Advised Funds Forum: Optimizing Returns via Successful Relationships and Strategies in Multi-Managed Fund, September 21-22 at The Harvard Club, Boston. For information e-mail email@example.com or call 704-341-2439.
The Investment Company Institute's 2010 Tax and Accounting Conference will be held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Ariz., September 26-29. The conference will provide up-to-the-minute information from auditors, fund sponsors, and regulators, and qualifies for CPE credit. Keynote speakers include Paul S. Atkins, former SEC commissioner and managing director, Patomak Partners; and Pamela F. Olson, former assistant secretary (Tax Policy) and partner, Skadden, Arps. For conference details and registration materials, contact the ICI Conference Division at 202-326-5968 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On The Move
SunTx Capital Partners, a private equity partnership based in Dallas, Texas, announced on September 13 that David J. Webb has joined the firm as a principal. Webb was most recently an investment banker for UBS Securities LLC, where he advised financial sponsors on private fund placements and related financings.
Jim O'Neill, Goldman Sachs' chief economist, on September 10 was made chairman of the investment bank's asset management business, which had $802 billion of assets under management as of June 30. O'Neill joined Goldman in 1995 as a partner, co-head of global economics research and chief currency economist, and was a former head of research globally for Swiss Bank Corp. He is credited with creating the acronym "BRIC" nearly a decade ago, to describe the emerging market countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, which he had earmarked as a key future driver of the global economy.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Managing Director Jim Tracy has taken on the position of COO of Distribution and Development, Wealth Management, in the U.S. His responsibilities include business development, professional development, talent management and national branch services.
Rowland "Chip" Bankes, former managing director at R.W. Pressprich and a Putnam senior v.p., was named head of trading at U.S. Trust. Based in Boston, Bankes reports to U.S. Trust CIO Chris Hyzy and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of equity, fixed income, and custody trading.
Chartwell Capital Solutions, a national financial advisory firm in Minneapolis, last month opened a Chicago office, at 155 North Wacker Drive. At the same time the firm announced the hiring of Will Bloom, formerly at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, to spearhead the investment banking and capital markets efforts for the region and lead the Chicago office.