'Jet Set' Gets iPhone App
There are about 121,800 free iPhone apps, according to research firm Distimo, covering everything from games like Froggy Jump to utilities like Did I Close The Door, which reminds you to lock the door when leaving your home. Now, you can add to the list an app specially made for the jet set.
U.K.-based Chapman Freeborn Airchartering Inc.-which provides charters for executives and entertainment industry bigwigs such as Coldplay, U2 and Beyonce-on Monday released Private Jet, an iPhone app that lets travelers book a private jet with a few flicks of a finger.
The company, one of the world's largest charter aircraft brokers, considers the app to be the "first-of-its-kind ... allowing for mobile booking of private jets," said Pedro A. Medina, Chapman's North America marketing manager. "[It's] a very useful tool for the business executive on the go."
Private Jet provides iPhone users immediate access to thousands of aircraft worldwide, according to the firm. The app-which Chapman assures is very user friendly-provides "highly accurate" quotes based on live-market information and offers aircraft options based on a passenger's requirements. With an interface that includes high-resolution photos, it includes real-time information on flight times and fuel stops.
The company notes the app is not meant to replace personal customer service, but complement it. "In almost every customer-focused industry we are seeing a move away from impersonal automation and back towards personal service with the aid of the latest technology," said Alex Berry, Chapman group executive sales and marketing director. Private Jet "offers the very best of both worlds," he added, by allowing customers to submit their requests direct from their handsets to Chapman Freeborn's global offices-there are 32 offices in 22 countries-staffed 24 hours a day by charter specialists.
Armed with the new app, Chapman is eyeing the vast Asia market, where they hope to lower the information barrier on private jet chartering. While private travel itself is thriving throughout Asia, the private jet chartering market is young and many there consider chartering as "highly inaccessible" due to "pricing or relevant chartering information," explained Mark Middleton, Chapman's Singapore director.
More information about the app is available at www.chapman-freeborn.com.
In other news ...
New York-based Tiedemann Wealth Management, which provides wealth management services to families, trusts, foundations and endowments, has launched the TWM Partners Fund, a global portfolio investing mainly in third-party managers across a range of asset classes and designed for high-net-worth individuals and institutions. The new fund aims to offer lower correlation to traditional markets by investing in multiple asset classes both traditional and alternative, according to Tiedemann, with an investment objective that closely mirrors that of the firm's Moderate Growth Portfolio, which it has managed for its separate account clients since 2006. Go to www.tiedemannwealth.com for further information.
Northern Trust, headquartered in Chicago, has reached an agreement to acquire Omnium LLC (www.omnium.com), a hedge fund administrator with about $70 billion in assets under administration. The acquisition, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, is expected to close in the third quarter. Omnium's staff will be integrated into Northern Trust's Corporate & Institutional Services business unit as Northern Trust Hedge Fund Services LLC, according to Northern. Go to www.northerntrust.com for further information.
M&T Bank Corporation of Buffalo, N.Y., has completed its acquisition of Wilmington Trust Corporation, based in Wilmington, Del., adding 55 branches, 225 ATMs and $10.7 billion in assets. M&T operates about 780 branches and 2,000 ATMs in eight states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, according to the company. M&T will continue to operate the Wilmington Trust Wealth Advisory Services and Corporate Client Services businesses using the Wilmington Trust brand. A financial holding company, M&T has about $78 billion in assets.
Concerned about inflation, the ultra-high-net-worth private families who are members of the Institute for Private Investors invested nearly a third of their portfolios outside of their domestic market, according to IPI's annual "Family Performance Tracking" survey, which noted that trends reported by ultra-affluent investors are often considered leading indicators of the broader market. Nearly a quarter of investors surveyed reported that they are managing currencies or hedging currency risk; 57% are investing in hedge funds, and 49% in private equity. For further information go to www.memberlink.net.
The first quarter of 2011 ended with 125 companies in the IPO pipeline representing $18.4 billion-four more companies but less than the $23.1 billion in the fourth quarter 2010, according to the quarterly Ernst & Young LLP "US IPO Pipeline" study. The three largest pipeline companies to go effective-HCA Holdings Inc. (registered for $4.4 billion), Kinder Morgan Inc. (registered for $3.3 billion) and Nielsen Holdings NV (registered for $1.9 billion)-were all private equity-backed companies. Continuing the trend of increased activity, more PE-backed companies also entered the IPO pipeline, along with smaller and China-based companies, according to the study. Go to www.ey.com/us/strategicgrowthmarkets for further information.
The Dow Jones Credit Suisse Hedge Fund Index ("Broad Index") rose 1.80% in April, with estimated new assets into the space totaling $9 billion. According to Oliver Schupp, president of Credit Suisse Index Co. LLC, nine out of ten sectors posted positive performance for the month. Managed futures was April's top sector performer, finishing up 5.40%. There was a total of $35 billion in new inflows year to date, bringing overall industry assets to $1.84 trillion, the highest level since 2008, he said. Go to www.hedgeindex.com for further information.
Mass-affluent investors (those with between $100,000 and $1 million in household investable assets) have pessimistic attitudes and behaviors toward investing, according to the recent "MFS Investing Sentiment Survey" conducted by Boston-based MFS Investment Management. Despite being in better financial shape than their sentiments would indicate, 44% of those surveyed have reduced discretionary spending over the past year, and 59% express concern about their ability to retire. Go to www. mfs.com for further information.
In April, after a pause in March, the stock market resumed its strong upward trend, as illustrated by the notable performance of the S&P 500 index (+2.96%), which has significantly outperformed the hedge-fund industry over the past few months, according to the recent EDHEC-Risk Alternative Indexes. Similarly, implicit volatility continued to wane (14.8%) and reached its lowest level for the past four years. In such conditions, all hedge-fund strategies were nonetheless profitable. Despite the good results of convertible bonds, the convertible arbitrage strategy (+0.12%) struggled for strong profitability, as its performances slackened over the past four months. Overall, the fund-of-fund strategy (+1.14%) took advantage of the stock market's performance and scored well compared to its average return, according to the report. Go to www.edhec-risk.com for detailed information.
Black Enterprise's 2011 Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo will be held on May 22 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis hotel, bringing together more than 1,000 of the country's leading African-American entrepreneurs and corporate executives. Go to www.blackenterprise.com/ec for further information.
The Stephens Inc. Spring Investment Conference will be held May 24-25 at The New York Palace Hotel in New York City. Go to www.stephens.com for further information.
The 8th Annual Craig-Hallum Institutional Investor Conference will be held June 1 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Minneapolis. Go to www.craig-hallum.com for further information.
The FSO Knowledge Xchange 5th Annual Financial Services Industry Transformation and Outsourcing Strategies Summit will be held June 9 at the Union League Club in New York City. Go to www.fsokx.com for further information.
Euro Pacific Capital's First Annual Global Investment Conference will be held June 9 at the Westin New York in New York City, bringing together more than 30 global companies with U.S. institutional and retail investors. Go to www.europac.net/investment_conferences for further information.
The Womenetics Second Annual Women's Conference-"Entrepreneurs 2011: Turning Vision into Value"-will be held June 23 at the Cobb Energy Centre in Atlanta. The featured keynote speaker is noted entrepreneur and women-in-business expert Barbara Kasoff. Go to www.womenetics.com.
The Schwab IMPACT 2011 Conference will be held November 1-4 at The Moscone Center in San Francisco. Keynote speakers include former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, Pimco founder Bill Gross, Kissinger Associates Managing Director Joshua Cooper Ramo, and Charles Schwab. Advisor registration opens June 16. Go to www.impact.schwab.com for further information.
On The Move
Cutwater Asset Management in Armonk, N.Y., has appointed Christopher P. Keating as managing director and head of global sales and distribution. Keating formerly worked at Columbia Management Investment Advisors, LLC (formerly RiverSource Investments) and Fidelity Management Trust Company (now Pyramis Global Advisors).
National Advisors Trust in Overland Park, Kan., has hired James D. Alfred as vice president for business development. Alfred was vice president of sales for Black Diamond Performance Reporting, and before that held senior-level positions at Advent Software.
CTC Consulting, an investment consulting firm for ultra-high-net-worth families in Portland, Ore., has hired Vincent Gimarelli as director of business development and marketing. Gimarelli was director of sales and marketing at Evergreen Capital Management LLC, and has held senior management roles with Schwab Institutional and Charles Schwab Investment Management Services.
Johnson Capital, an Irvine, Calif.-based real estate investment banking firm, has entered into a new correspondent relationship with CapitalSource, a commercial lender in Chevy Chase, Md., to provide non-recourse financing of between $1 million and $10 million for stabilized multifamily properties located in California. Johnson has hired Sean Barry, former western regional vice president at Mezz Cap Finance and an associate director at Johnson Capital, as vice president to lead the marketing of the new product out of the firm's office in Los Angeles.
Maritime Program Group, a marine insurer, has launched its Private Client Services division to handle the insurance needs of high-net-worth clients. Timothy Boyle, former sales manager for a large retail agency in White Plains, N.Y., and sales manager for the Marsh Private Client office in Fairfield, Conn., has been hired as director. The division will be based in Darien, Conn.
BNY Mellon Wealth Management has appointed Myriam Soto and Douglas Schaenen to positions newly created to support the firm's focus on international wealth management. Soto has been named managing director, International Wealth Advisory Services, and regional head for International Wealth Management in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She also is president and a director of the firm's Cayman trust company. Schaenen, who previously was head of the Middle East Region within International Wealth Management, has been named head of EMEA, a region where Mellon already serves "a sizeable number" of wealthy families and individuals.
Bank of America has named David Reilly chief technology officer for Global Wealth and Investment Management and as the company's shared technology infrastructure executive. Reilly is former chief information officer for enterprise infrastructure at Morgan Stanley.
Citi's Global Transaction Services has been appointed by Old Mutual Asset Management Trust Company, which serves high-net-worth investors, foundations, endowments, and others, to provide a comprehensive suite of investor services for some of the firm's commingled funds, which had over $16 billion in assets across more than forty funds as of March 31, according to Citi.