Federated Investors Inc., Pittsburgh, announced this week that it has launched its Global Financial Services Fund and is touting it as one of only two global financial services sector funds available to investors.

The fund offers investors exposure to as many as five regions: the United States, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. It invests mainly in banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms, and asset management companies, and holds both U.S. and foreign stocks.

Federated sees several factors for the potential of such a fund, including the world's aging population, growing appetite for financial services, continuing mergers of financial institutions, increased efficiency through technology, deregulation, and consolidation of fragmented markets.

The fund is benchmarked against the Morgan Stanley All Country World Finance Index. Its lead manager is Marc Halperin, who joined the company Sept. 21 from UOB Asset Management, in Singapore, where he was an associated director and portfolio manager for a global financial services fund and European equity fund.

Federated manages 12 global and international funds with $1.7 billion of assets. In all, Federated manages $100 billion in mutual funds and separate accounts.

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