Recent News Articles
By Beagan Wilcox Volz
'Tis the season for an avalanche of holiday e-cards in fund industry employees’ in-boxes.
While some holdouts still send paper cards, firms in the fund industry seem to overwhelmingly prefer the e-card when it comes to wishing their clients and business associates happy holidays. Some firms — Fidelity and American Century among them — also tied e-cards to charitable giving in 2010.
Tired of all the bad news coming out of the mutual fund industry? Every day, it seems, if it's not market timing, it's improper gift giving.
So here's something heartwarming.
The Mutual Funds Against Cancer golf tournament, held on June 2 at the Pinehills Golf Club at Plymouth, raised $210,000 for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and its Jimmy Fund Clinic.
Of that, $45,000 came from a silent auction, which included two autographed Red Sox World Series jerseys, sold for $3,000 each, and a pair of tickets to see the Rolling Stones at Fenway for $1,700.
EDWARD MASON, finance and government reporter, can be reached at email@example.com.
With support from John Hancock, the recent annual Mutual Funds Against Cancer (MFAC) benefit broke records with more than $265,000 raised to fight cancer, a 30 percent increase from last year. Bruce Speca, EVP, Investment Management Services, received the “Expect Miracles Award” for his efforts to secure sponsors from the mutual fund and financial services industries.
The 12th annual Expect Miracles Golf Classic took place at Pinehills in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Over 280 golfers from the financial community came together for a day of golf coupled with a dinner event hosted by WEEI’s John Dennis. The tournament’s proceeds and other MFAC event proceeds go to benefit The Jimmy Fund, the fund–raising arm of the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute, one of the leading cancer research and patient care facilities in the world. Of the more than 150 Jimmy Fund golf tournaments held each year to benefit the Jimmy Fund, MFAC is in the top five in terms of the amount raised.
"Mutual Funds Against Cancer is proud to have John Hancock as our partner in the quest to eradicated cancer," says MFAC Chairman Frank Strauss. "Bruce Speca is an extraordinary individual and Mutual Funds Against Cancer board member who sets the standard for any charitable organization. It was our honor, with heartfelt thanks, to present Bruce with our Expect Miracles Award. His commitment goes far above and beyond the norm." "Cancer is such a prevalent disease that does not discriminate," says Speca. "Donations made directly to organizations such as Dana Farber are wonderful, but it is also a great experience to share a day with your colleagues and raise money for such an important cause. The financial services industry generates great wealth and MFAC is a great vehicle to redirect some of those assets back to those who truly need it." John Hancock is also the proud supporter of Mutual Funds Against Cancer’s annual Wine & Spirits Extravaganza, an event held in November which attracts over 350 senior financial executives. These two programs are the leading financial community based charitable events in New England.
Mutual Funds Against Cancer (MFAC) is one of the leading advocates in the fight against cancer within the mutual fund and financial industries. Founded in 1995, MFAC’s mission is to proactively help find a cure for cancer by raising funds and awareness through event–based programs and charitable donations. MFAC’s most renowned events are its annual “Expect Miracles” Golf Classic and The Wine & Spirits Extravaganza. The MFAC organization “expects miracles” and believes it is this generation’s responsibility to eradicate cancer, the second leading cause of death in the United States.
By Lisa Lacy
The fund industry's participation in the fight against cancer has taken many forms this year, ranging from fund raising and special events to seminars, among other events. Several industry firms are pitching in to do their part. Both on an individual employee level and corporation-wide, MassMutual, American Century, SalesPage Technologies, State Street, Investors Bank & Trust, JPMorganChase, Beacon Consulting Group and Mutual Funds Against Cancer, among many others, have enlisted to battle the disease in some form or another.
In recognition of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, MassMutual is combining seminars for women with its fundraising efforts. The firm says it is working to raise awareness and to provide a minimum donation of $100,000 to local research, detection and treatment programs to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. MassMutual’s U.S. Insurance Group will make charitable contributions of up to $3,000 to local cancer organizations in the name of each agency that conducts its “Pearls of Wisdom” financial educational seminar in October. The firm’s Pearls of Wisdom seminar is an interactive video-based seminar that includes women telling stories about how their financial lives are impacting their personal lives. MassMutual says it is encouraging agents to present these seminars in their communities to raise awareness of financial preparedness, especially when it comes to breast cancer and other unexpected life events. An estimated 200 to 250 agents, representing MassMutual’s more than 80 agencies, are expected to participate. “We’re on the hook for about $250,000,” says Susan Sweetser, second vice president of MassMutual’s Specialized Markets division. In addition, the firm sponsored the Danskin Women’s Triathlon, which donates 10% of entry fees to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. In conjunction with that sponsorship, MassMutual made donations to the Foundation on behalf of triathlon participants who attended MassMutual’s “Pearls of Wisdom” seminar. On another front, an industry executive has established “Mutual Funds Against Cancer" or MFAC. MFAC is an advocate in the fight against cancer within New England’s mutual fund and financial industry that hosts several events throughout the year. The organization’s mission is to proactively find a cure for cancer by raising funds and awareness through event-based programs and charitable donations. For instance, in November it will hold its Third Annual Expect Miracles Wine & Spirit Extravaganza in Boston. Founded in 1995 as a grassroots family-and-friends group, MFAC has raised $1.2 million to date. What started with a golf tournament has since expanded to include the Wine Extravaganza as well as the First Annual State Street 5K Challenge at the Nicsa Technology Summit next month. Proceeds raised by the organization benefit The Jimmy Fund, the fund-raising arm of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dana-Farber provides care to children and adults with cancer while advancing the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of cancer and related diseases. As a former CFO and treasurer of The CGM Funds, founder and chairman Frank Strauss says he "felt in a position to rally some industry folks around me and get something going, and I never dreamed it would grow [to this point].” Strauss is now principal of the Beacon Consulting Group.
MFAC’s board consists of approximately 25 executives from State Street, Investors Bank & Trust and JPMorgan Chase. Last month, customer relationship management, or CRM, software company SalesPage Technologies made a more indirect contribution to the cause: It donated software and support to MFAC. MFAC will implement the SalesPage CRM offering to streamline fundraising and awareness efforts as well as to leverage its growing list of data and contacts. Michael Pessetti, vice president of sales and marketing for SalesPage, says SalesPage is providing the hardware, software and infrastructure in order to help MFAC keep track of donors and sponsors as well as planning and communication around events such as marketing to potential participants. “We recognize they’re a virtual organization and they don’t have a lot of staff or even a physical office location,” Pessetti says. “We felt we could do something effective.” For its part, American Century has struck up a partnership with a celebrity spokesman and launched a new brand and advertising campaign to raise awareness and support for cancer. Via a campaign featuring Lance Armstrong and the catchphrase, "Put Your Lance Face On," the firm is encouraging investors to tackle investment decisions with determination and focus. Company spokesman Chris Doyle says the firm rebranded target-date funds and asset allocation funds under the “Livestrong” moniker. In addition, American Century has “made a financial commitment” to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is devoted to raising cancer awareness. Doyle says there is a minimum level of commitment and that if the funds prove to be more popular, the amount of commitment can go up. Like Armstrong, American Century’s founder, Jim Stowers, Jr., is a cancer survivor. Also like Armstrong, Stowers is using his position to help fight the disease. He has created a biomedical research facility, The Stowers Institute for Medical Research.