Fund Times - 3rd to 7th December.

Manager changes at Newton, Fidelity. Fund launches at Henderson, Powershares, ETF Securities.

Chetan Modi 7 December, 2007 | 6:20PM
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Changes at Newton European Equity Team
Raj Shant, Director of the European Equity team at Newton, is the new lead manager of the Newton European Higher Income fund while Tom Beevers will assume the role of alternate lead manager. The duo will replace Aaron Barnfather who had been leading on the European income strategy – he is leaving in 2008 to pursue other opportunities. Newton has also added to the European team. Fred Moore, who joins from Deloitte and Touche, will take on the role of assistant investment manager.

Overhaul at Fidelity
Tom Ewi

ng has been appointed the lead manager of the Fidelity UK Growth Fund, replacing Carlos Moreno. Ewing has worked as an oil and gas, pharmaceutical and support services analyst since 2000. Moreno leaves the fund after managing it since January 2006.

Aruna Karunathilake is now the manager of Fidelity UK Aggressive and replaces Mark Hodges who ran the fund from August 2005. Karunathilake has been an equity manager and researcher at Fidelity for seven years. Both Ewing and Karunathilake have either run pilot portfolios or segments of funds for the past year.

Henderson to Launch Long/Short Property Fund
Henderson has decided to launch a long/short pan-European property equity fund as part of its offshore SICAV range. The fund will be managed by Patrick Summer and will be a concentrated ‘best ideas’ fund of around 20-30 stocks, some of which may be smaller companies that invest in emerging markets in Eastern and Central Europe. The manager will primarily invest in Europe but will be able to invest around one-third in non-European opportunities. The fund will use UCITS III powers by selling short both stocks and quoted property market indices and futures.

Powershares Launches More ETFs into UK Market
Invesco's Powershares exchange-traded fund (ETF) unit launched a suite of four more ETFs into the UK market on Monday. The new funds, which trade on the LSE, include Powershares UK Dynamic, PowerShares FTSE RAFI Developed Europe Mid-Small Fund, PowerShares FTSE RAFI Developed 1000 Fund, and PowerShares FTSE RAFI UK 100 Fund. The funds bring the Powershares lineup in the UK to 13 offerings. You can read more about an earlier launch from Powershares, here.

The FTSE RAFI indexes are based on the fundamental index approach developed by Research Affiliates. Whereas traditional indexes weight companies according to their market capitalisations, the FTSE RAFI indexes weight companies according to their sales, book values, cash flows, and dividends. Proponents of the method argue that cap-weighting is essentially arbitrary and introduces volatile and possibly misleading stock prices into the equation, and that indexes should thus instead attempt to weight companies according to their fundamental strengths. However, the RAFI approach usually gives the indexes a smaller-cap value orientation. That has worked well since 2000, but large-caps have started to outperform, leaving open to question how these funds will fare in less favourable conditions.

ETF Securities Launches Four New Exchange Traded Commodities Funds
ETF securities launched a group of four new exchange-traded offerings designed to track the performance of commodities futures indices from Dow Jones. The offerings are ETFS Forward Natural Gas, ETFS Forward Heating Oil, ETFS Forward Lean Hogs, and ETFS Forward Live Cattle. It should go without saying that such offerings are highly speculative and not something that most investors should even consider buying in our view.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Chetan Modi  is a fund analyst at Morningstar OBSR.