12.19.2011
By Terry Flanagan

Buy Side Incorporates IPOs

Buy side firm add IPOs to some premier products, but the newer sensations may be received poorly by the markets.

Positive predictions from 2010 about initial public offerings (IPOs) for this year linger on as more and more “social media” companies go public. Deals talks have surged and included names such as LinkedIn, Groupon, Yelp, Angie’s List and Zynga.

There have also been more traditional companies who have gone public, such as high-end retailer, Michael Kors.

The social media bunch has had a wide-range of performance, from booming to disappointing. Nonetheless, buy-side firms, such as Russell Investments are ensuring that investors who don’t easily have access to the brand new companies can get exposure its index products.

Russell Investments, with $137 billion in assets under management, will add 31 IPOs to the Russell Global Index for the fourth quarter of 2011 on December 19, including 11 additions to the U.S. small cap Russell 2000 Index.

Some of the key U.S. IPO additions to the Russell 3000 Index for this quarter include Groupon Angie’s List, and Manning & Napier.

“The quarterly addition of eligible IPOs worldwide is a significant component of the Russell Index methodology, allowing for enhanced market representation without significant turnover,” said Rolf Agather, global managing director of index research and innovation at Russell Investments.

“Our process ensures continuing relevance and objective market representation across all Russell Indexes globally, providing investors with comprehensive benchmarks that transparently track market performance across the globe.”

Russell’s indexes will also incorporate IPOs from other regions, most notably Asia.

Of the 15 IPOs to be added to the Russell Global ex-U.S. Index, 12 are across the Asia-Pacific region, with eight falling into Asia-Pacific emerging markets as classified by Russell Indexes. The Russell Greater China Index received new additions.

Despite the recent additions, this year’s fourth quarter has thus far seems modest activity in IPOs.

The total of 31 IPOs added to the global index in the fourth quarter represents a significant drop from the 90 IPOs added in the third quarter of 2011, according to a Russell statement.

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