SOURCE: Capital Link, Inc.

April 21, 2008 12:14 ET

7th Annual Capital Link Forum on Closed-End Funds and ETFs a Big Success

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) - Over 600 members of the investment community and the financial press attended the 7th Annual Capital Link Forum on Closed End Funds and ETFs which took place at the Metropolitan Club in New York City, following the tradition of previous years.

The Forum focused on current trends and developments in Closed-End Funds (CEFs) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and for the first time in Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) with presentations by fund managers, analysts and specialists from the industry, as well as with industry roundtables with discussion among industry participants.

With a successful track record of seven years, the Annual Capital Link Forum on Closed End Funds and ETFs has been established as a major industry event where analysts and portfolio managers can debate with their peers and present to a wider investor audience.

Traditional attendance has been between 400 and 500 every year and for this year for the first time it surpassed 600.

Forum Organizers:

This Annual Forum is organized by Capital Link, a New York based Investor Relations and Financial Communications firm which among other activities maintains a strategic focus on the Closed-End Fund and ETF sectors.

Sponsors and Presenters:

BlackRock was the Gold Sponsor of this event, while Deutsche Borse Market Data, First Trust Advisors, Nuveen Investments, Barclays Global Investors, Invesco PowerShares and Merrill Lynch were the Silver Sponsors.

The Bronze Sponsors included Calamos Investments, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Cohen & Steers, Eaton Vance Management, Evergreen Investments, Fund Data, ING Investment Management, NYSE Euronext, Pioneer Investments, State Street Global Advisors, Tortoise Capital Advisors, The Vanguard Group and WisdomTree.

The American Stock Exchange and Standard & Poor's were Sponsors as well.

Media Partners:

The Forum's Media Partners included Barron's, Bloomberg, Institutional Investor, Euromoney Yearbooks, Financial Planning, IndexUniverse.com and Registered Representative.

Welcome Remarks:

Mr. Nicolas Bornozis, President of Capital Link, made the introductory remarks highlighting the significance of this Annual Forum as a unique and major industry event. The Forum serves the double purpose of enhancing the overall visibility of Closed-End Funds and ETFs in the investment community while also highlighting current trends, developments, challenges and opportunities in these areas.

Inaugural Address:

Mr. Mario J. Gabelli, Chairman, CEO & CIO, Gamco Investors, Inc. in his inaugural address pointed out the evolution of the CEF sector and its current challenges and highlighted GAMCO's development and positioning in the sector.

CLOSED-END FUNDS IN 2008: AN OPPORTUNITY OR RISK?

Ms. Sangeeta Marfatia, Closed-End Fund Analyst, UBS Wealth Management Research introduced Mr. Doug Bond, EVP & Portfolio Manager, Closed-End Opportunity Fund, Cohen & Steers, who analyzed why the Closed-End Funds can be an investment opportunity in 2008.

INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE: THE CATACLYSM OF LEVERAGE IN CLOSED-END FUNDS

Ms. Mariana Bush, Closed-End Funds & Exchange-Traded Funds Analyst, Wachovia Securities moderated the first discussion panel.

The panel was consisted of Mr. Steven A. Baffico, Director of Strategic Initiatives, BlackRock Investments, Mr. Kenneth Fincher, Vice President, Director of Product Management & Client Advocacy, Calamos Investments, Mr. Jonathan Isaac, Vice President, Closed-End Funds, Eaton Vance Managed Investments, Mr. Jon Maier, Investment Strategy Group - Closed-End Funds Merrill Lynch and Mr. Paul Williams, Managing Director, New Product Development, Nuveen Investments.

The discussion focused on the growth of leverage by CEFs, the current challenges with the ARPs and discussed fund sponsor initiatives in this area.

INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE: CEFs -- CURRENT TRENDS, OPPORTUNITIES & OUTLOOK

Mr. Kenneth Fincher, Vice President, Director of Product Management & Client Advocacy, Calamos Investments moderated the second discussion panel.

Mr. Doug Bond, EVP & Portfolio Manager, Closed-End Opportunity Fund, Cohen & Steers, Ms. Karen R. McColl, CFA, Vice President, Investment Product Management, Evergreen Investments, Mr. Jeffrey Margolin, Vice President and Closed-End Fund Analyst, First Trust Advisors and Mr. David Lamb, Managing Director, Head of Modeling & Analysis Group, Nuveen Investments participated in this panel discussing the current trends, challenges and outlook in the sector.

FIXED INCOME INVESTING

Ms. Amy Charles, Senior Vice President, Director - Closed-End Fund Research, Raymond James introduced Mr. Brendan Ahern, Business Development Officer, Barclays Global Investors who made a presentation on "INVESTING IN FIXED INCOME THROUGH ETFs."

Followed Mr. Michael Temple, Vice President, Director of Fixed Income Credit Research, Pioneer Investments who was also introduced by Mrs. Amy Charles and his topic was the "CATASTROPHE BONDS: A NEW AND UNIQUE ASSET CLASS-Pioneer Diversified High Income Trust (HNW)."

EQUITY & TOTAL RETURN INVESTING

Mr. Kristoph Rollenhagen, Sr.V.P. - Research, Closed-End Funds and ETFs, Oppenheimer & Co introduced the panelists:

Mr. Dan Norman, Senior Vice President & Group Head of the Senior Debt Group, ING Investment Management talked about "INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN SENIOR LOANS."

Mr. Timothy O'Brien, Portfolio Manager, Evergreen Investments presented the "EVERGREEN UTILITIES & HIGH INCOME FUND" and Mr. David Schulte, Managing Director, Tortoise Capital Advisors who presented the "INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR."

THE EVOLUTION OF INDEXING AND ETFs

Mr. Alex Reiss, Analyst, V.P., Closed-End Fund & ETF Research, Stifel Nicolaus introduced the panelists:

Dr. Hartmut Graf, Head of Issuer Data & Analytics, Deutsche Börse AG presented on "ACCESS TO EMERGING MARKETS & INVESTING WITH INNOVATIVE INDEX CONCEPTS."

Mr. H. Bruce Bond, President & CEO, Invesco PowerShares Capital Management talked about "THE EVOLUTION OF INDEXING AND ETFs."

Mr. Luciano Siracusano, Director of Research, WisdomTree Investments made a presentation on "A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO INVESTING IN EMERGING MARKETS."

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Mr. Raymond L. Bell, Vice President, Global Corporate Client Group, NYSE Euronext. Introduced the Keynote speaker Mr. Robert S. Kapito, President and Director of BLACKROCK INVESTMENTS who made a presentation on "The 21st Century Asset Management Business: Challenges, Opportunities and Beyond."

Mr. Matthew Moran, Vice President, Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) made a presentation on "CAN PUT-WRITE & BUY-WRITE INDEXES GENERATE HIGHER INCOME & RISK-ADJUSTED RETURNS?"

Mr. Satch Chada, Managing Director, Structured & Alternative Solutions, Merrill Lynch and Mr. Michael Forstl, Managing Director, Structured products Consulting Group, Nuveen Investments made a presentation on "BUILDING INVESTMENT PORTFOLIOS WITH ELEMENTS EXCHANGE-TRADED NOTES (ETNs)."

INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE: FUNDAMENTAL VERSUS TRADITIONAL INDEXING

Mr. Paul Mazzilli, Director ETF Research, Morgan Stanley moderated the panel discussion and the panelists were the followings:

Mr. Dodd F. Kittsley, CFA, Strategist, Barclays Global Investors, Mr. Edward McRedmond, SVP - Portfolio Strategies, Invesco PowerShares Capital Management, Mr. Luciano Siracusano, Director of Research, WisdomTree Investments, Mr. Tom Anderson, CFA, Vice President and Head of Strategy and Research, State Street Global Advisors and Mr. Paul Drakeley, Account Sales Executive, Vanguard Financial Advisor Services (VFAS).

INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE: ETFs: CURRENT TRENDS, OPPORTUNITIES & OUTLOOK

Mr. Joe Witthohn, Director of ETF Research, Janney Montgomery Scott moderated the panel discussion.

The panelists included Dr. Hartmut Graf, Head of Issuer Data & Analytics, Deutsche Börse AG, Mr. Jeffrey Margolin, Vice President, First Trust Advisors, Mr. Ben Fulton, Executive VP, Global Product Development, Invesco PowerShares, Ms. Jill Iacono, Vice President and Director of National Accounts, State Street Global Advisors, Mr. Paul Drakeley, Account Sales Executive, Vanguard Financial Advisor Services (VFAS).

INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE: USING ETFs, CEFs AND ETNs IN INVESTMENT PORTFOLIOS

Mr. Dennis Emanuel, Managing Director, CEF & ETF Research, Citigroup Investment Research moderated the last panel of the conference and the round table consisted of Mr. Brian D'Anna, Senior CEF Specialist, BlackRock, Mr. Dodd F. Kittsley,CFA, Strategist, Barclays Global Investors, Mr. Michael Jones, Chairman & CEO, Riverfront Investment Group, Mr. Michael Forstl, Managing Director, Structured Products Consulting Group, Nuveen Investments, Mr. Jamie Block, Wealth Advisor, Morgan Stanley, Ms. Deborah Fuhr, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley, Consolidated Equities.

You may find more information on the 7th Annual Capital Link CEF & ETF Conference at http://www.capitallinkforum.com/cef/2008/main.html

ANNUAL CEF, ETF & ANALYST AWARDS

During the luncheon the CEF, ETF and Analyst Awards were presented to the Winners. The Awards are based on Nominations by industry analysts for the CEFs and ETFs Awards and by CEFs and ETFs for the Analyst Awards respectively. Capital Link is not a member of any of the Nominating Committees.

The winners are the following:

Closed-End Fund Awards

--  Most Innovative New Closed-End Fund in 2007: Eaton Vance Management
    for the Risk-Managed Diversified Equity Income Fund (NYSE: ETJ)
--  Best Shareholder Relations by a non-US Closed-End Fund Family in 2007:
    ING Investment Management
--  Best Shareholder Relations by a US Equity Closed-End Fund Family in
    2007: Eaton Vance Management
--  Best Shareholder Relations by a Fixed Income Fund Family in 2007:
    Nuveen Investments
--  Best Investor Relations Website in 2007: Nuveen Investments
--  For Contribution to the Closed-End Fund sector in 2007: Mr. David
    Lamb, Managing Director & Head of Modeling & Analysis Group, Nuveen
    Investments
    

Exchange-Traded Fund Awards

--  Most Innovative New ETF Product in 2007: Invesco PowerShares Capital
    Management for the PowerShares S&P 500 BuyWrite ETF (NYSE: PBP)
--  Best Shareholder Relations in 2007: Barclays Global Investors
--  Best Investor Relations ETF Website In 2007: Barclays Global Investors
--  Most Innovative Index In 2007: Mergent, Inc. & Ryan ALM, Inc. for the
    Mergent/Ryan ALM Investible Benchmark Bond Indices: For Contribution to the
    ETF Sector In 2007: Mr. Edward McRedmond, Senior Vice President - Portfolio
    Strategies, Invesco PowerShares Capital Management
--  Best ETF Focused Publication In 2007: Exchange-Traded Funds Report
    (ETFR), Mr. Jim Wiandt, Editor
    

Closed-End Fund Analyst Awards

--  Best Research Team for Closed-End Funds in 2007: Citi Smith Barney
--  For Contribution to the Closed-End Fund Sector in 2007: Ms. Mariana
    Bush, CEF & ETF Analyst, Wachovia Securities
    

Exchange-Traded Fund Analyst Awards

--  Best Research Team for Exchange-Traded Funds in 2007: Morgan Stanley
--  For Contribution to the ETF Sector in 2007: Ms. Mariana Bush, CEF &
    ETF Analyst Wachovia Securities
    

More information on the Awards can be found at www.cefawards.com, www.etfawards.com

About Capital Link:

Capital Link is a New York based Investor Relations and Financial Communications firm, also with offices in London and Athens, with strategic focus, among other, on Closed-End Funds and ETFs.

Capital Link provides vertically integrated service packages which support its clients along all phases of the investor relations process. The objective is to establish and deliver the proper message to the investment community, identify the proper target investor and analyst group, establish and maintain contact with them, gather investor and analyst feedback, monitor the development of the shareholding base and keep track of developments in listed peer group companies. Also, to establish contact and coverage by the proper financial media.

Capital Link has developed specific programs and IR tools focused on CEFs and ETFs and on enhancing their investor outreach raising their profile among analysts, investors and the financial media.

With a successful track record of seven years, the Annual Capital Link Forum on Closed End Funds and ETFs has been established as a major industry event where analysts and portfolio managers can debate with their peers and present to a wider investor audience.

Contact Information

  • For more information please contact:
    Nicolas Bornozis
    Capital Link, Inc.
    230 Park Avenue - Suite 1536
    New York, NY 10169
    Tel. (212) 661-7566
    E-mail: fundforum@capitalklink.com