Credit Suisse Changes Fund Distributor

Credit Suisse Asset Management, the investment arm of Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group, has changed the distributor for its mutual funds.Provident Distributors Inc. of Conshohocken, Pa., recently took over distribution of the 35 no-load Warburg Pincus funds from Counsellor Securities Inc. of New York, a subsidiary of the former Warburg Pincus Asset Management. Credit Suisse acquired Warburg Pincus Asset Management last summer and put all its funds under the Warburg Pincus name.

The Warburg Pincus Funds manage about $14 billion of assets.

- Amy L. Anderson


Putnam Expands Investment Chief's Duties

Putnam Investments of Boston said it has named a chief investment officer for its large-cap value equity investments.Deborah F. Kuenstner, 41, succeeded Anthony Kreisel, who plans to retire March 31, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Ms. Kuenstner, who joined Putnam in 1997, is to remain chief investment officer of its international value equities group. She will also continue to co-manage the Putnam Global Growth and Income Fund and the Putnam International Growth and Income Fund.

Putnam manages $375 billion of assets, including $67.4 billion of value equities for retail and institutional investors.

- Cheryl Winokur


Hancock Shareholders Get On-Line Trading

Following a trend, John Hancock Funds of Boston is letting shareholders buy, exchange, or redeem shares on-line.Fund companies such as AIM Management Group of Houston, Massachusetts Financial Services of Boston, and Alliance Capital Management of New York rolled out the same service last year.

Hancock manages more than $30 billion of assets.


Schwab Offering On-Line Research Access

Charles Schwab & Co., the San Francisco discount brokerage behemoth, recently introduced two Internet tools to enhance mutual fund research.The Advanced Mutual Fund Screener lets retail investors screen about 10,000 funds rated by Chicago's Morningstar Inc., not just the portfolios available through Schwab. Investors can search for funds that beat benchmarks or category averages, or they can seek out special categories such as socially conscious funds.

Expanded reports on Morningstar-rated funds, known as Fund Details, are also being made available to investors, Schwab said. Features include after-tax returns, load-adjusted returns, and a tax-efficiency scale.


AARP Opens Older People's Investment Site

The American Association of Retired Persons last month launched a Web site designed for investors older than 50.The site, aarp.scudder.com, uses large type and has features geared to life events of investors in that age group. Visitors to the site, for example, can read about investment considerations when getting married after 50 or things people older than 70 should know about individual retirement accounts.

AARP offers 16 no-load funds that are managed by Scudder Kemper Investments Inc. These portfolios have more than $16 billion of assets, the association said.


Ill. Brokerage Seeks Self-Clearing Authority

Web Street Securities of Deerfield, Ill., filed an application with the National Association of Securities Dealers to become a self-clearing brokerage firm.The subsidiary of Web Street Inc. clears trades through U.S. Clearing, a New York-based subsidiary of FleetBoston Financial Corp. U.S. Clearing has about 390 correspondent clearing customers.

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