Investment Company News

Franklin Templeton Introduces Frontier Markets Fund
San Mateo, Calif. -- Franklin Templeton Investments announced the introduction of Templeton Frontier Markets Fund, the first actively managed, U.S.-registered fund dedicated to investing in the dynamic economies of frontier market nations around the world. The Fund seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in securities of companies located in frontier market countries, which are defined as smaller, less developed and less liquid countries (compared to emerging markets) that are considered to be in the early stages of development.

Wealth Management Solutions Enhances Efficiency
Newark, N.J. -- Prudential’s Wealth Management Solutions has expanded its overlay portfolio management offering to provide advisors and trust officers at financial institutions with tools that enable them to manage client portfolios more efficiently and evaluate investment performance by sleeve within a unified managed account. Wealth Management Solutions, a business of Prudential Financial, Inc. collaborates with banks and broker-dealers to offer integrated investment platforms.
     The first enhancement to Wealth Management Solutions’ overlay portfolio management toolset provides enhanced asset allocation model and rebalancing tools, automating the creation and management of model portfolios for overlay managers. With this improvement, trust officers and advisors can create model portfolios online, make the model available for selection in the client profiling process, and manage updates, rebalancing and trading across multiple accounts with the same profile.

Fortigent Welcomes Willow Street Advisors
Rockville, Md. -- Fortigent, LLC announced it has been retained by Willow Street Advisors, LLC. Willow Streets Advisors is a private wealth management firm with offices in Naples, Florida and Akron, Ohio. Christopher P. Bray, David B. Kearns, and Richard H. Stevens, are former executives with the wealth management division of one of the top 10 largest banks in the U.S.

T. Rowe Price Launches Strategic Income Fund
Baltimore -- T. Rowe Price has expanded its fixed income investment offerings by launching the Strategic Income Fund. It seeks high income and some capital appreciation by investing in as many as 12 asset classes, including both U.S. and non-U.S. securities. At least 80 percent of its net assets will be invested in income-producing securities or other income-producing investments. Individual investors can access the strategy through a no-load mutual fund or Advisor Class shares that are available through financial intermediaries.

Fortigent Welcomes Syntrinsic Investment Counsel
Rockville, Md. -- Fortigent, LLC announced it has been retained by Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, a Denver-based wealth management firm serving a national clientele. Syntrinsic was launched this past August when an experienced wealth management team, led by Ben Valore-Caplan, CIMA, left the global financial services firm UBS to form an independent company.

GenSpring Family Offices AcquiresCymric Family Office Services
Palm Beach, Fla. -- GenSpring Family Offices announced that it has signed a definitive purchase agreement too acquire Cymric Family Office Services. Based in Costa Mesa, California and founded by current CEO and President Patricia M. Saldano in 1987, Cymric Family Office Services is a leading independent multi-family office serving clients in California and other states. The combined firm will have more than $17 billion in assets under management.

Former Wachovia Exchange Veteran Opens Qualified Intermediary Shop
Reston, Va. -- James Brennan announced that he will open ES Group, LLC, a 1031 exchange qualified intermediary (QI) headquartered in Reston, Va. Brennan, a former vice president with Wachovia Exchange Services, decided that having the flexibility to allow clients to select from a fully FDIC insured exchange as well as allowing for the placement of exchange proceeds with existing banking relationships of clients will instill client confidence in the exchange process.

Capital REIT Investments Launches $100 million Real Estate Fund
Atlanta, Ga. – Atlanta-based Capital REIT Investments, an integrated commercial real estate investment and operating company has formed Capital REIT Fund I, a closed-end real estate investment fund. The Fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of Class A, high-quality income producing commercial properties.
     The Fund aims to raise $100 million for the purchase of stabilized and core-plus properties to include multi-tenant office, retail, industrial and multifamily assets. The Fund will focus on acquisitions from sellers under financial strain, capitalizing on distressed assets caused by the recent adverse economic events.

Wells Real Estate Funds Adds Millions In 2008
Norcross, Ga. -- The investment portfolios of Wells Real Estate Funds acquired more than $830 million in office properties in 2008, covering more than 3.2 million square feet. Despite the tightening commercial real estate market, Wells acquired more square footage than the year before, when Wells portfolios purchased more than 2.6 million square feet of office space.

Altavista Opens New Office
Charlotte, N.C. -- Altavista Wealth Management, Inc., a boutique wealth management firm based in Ashville is expanding its presence in Charlotte, setting up its trust operation and hiring a 22-year Wachovia Corp veteran to lead it. The company had $177 million in assets under management and 81 clients in mid-2007. Ned Zorigian has been hired to head the unit.



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