Bush Signs Appointment For SIPC Chair, Board Members: William R. Timken Jr., Thomas W. Grant and Noe Hinojosa Jr. have been confirmed to serve as directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corp., which maintains a reserve fund authorized by Congress to help investors at failed brokerage firms.

Timken, who will serve as chairman, has been chairman of the board of The Timken Co. since 1975, and is a member of the U.S.-Japan Business Council, the Council on Competitiveness, the Executive Committee of the Ohio Business Roundtable and the Professional Football Hall of Fame board of trustees. He is also a trustee of the Manufacturing Institute and past chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Grant has served as president and chief executive of H.G. Wellington & Co. Inc., since 1991. He has been president and chief executive of Pax World Funds, of Portsmouth, N.H., since 1996 and is also CEO of Pax World Capital Management.

Hinojosa is the vice chairman and part owner of Estrada Hinojosa & Co. Inc., an investment banking firm that specializes in public finance. Hinojosa has been its public finance manager since the firm’s inception in 1992.

FPA Urges SEC to Look at Cost of PRO: While it supports a proposed compliance rule for investment advisors, the Financial Planning Association said that it opposes the creation of a self-regulatory organization for the financial planning profession and urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to review the costs associated with a voluntary professional regulatory organization instead.

Citing the CFP Board of Standards Inc. as an example of a private sector model, a comment letter to the SEC said the FPA believes the PRO concept “is worth further consideration.”

The group cited concern that the “consolidation of financial services under one holding company, and the increasing potential for conflicts in cross-selling among affiliated firms through a single point-of-sale agent, merits a re-direction of the SRO question to one with a professional orientation.”

However, the FPA said that it would withhold support for the concept if the costs to be regulated by a PRO were “prohibitive” for its licensees. The concept would assume SEC or state oversight of the PRO and allow for optional licensing as a professional planner instead of as an investment advisor, according to the FPA. The group also supported a proposed rule to require written supervisory procedures by investment advisors, but questioned related SEC “concept” proposals asking for feedback on third-party compliance reviews and fidelity bonding, noting that the industry was relatively scandal-free and additional requirements were unnecessary.

NewRiver Launches Turnkey 529 Portal for Institutions: Andover, Mass.-based NewRiver, a provider of e-services for the financial industry, has launched College Savings Central, a 529 plan information and compliance portal catering to institutional buyers.

Features of the turnkey client services portal, which can be privately branded, include 529 education, reference and compliance materials, plan evaluation tools, and print or electronic delivery of prospectuses and compliance information.

Morningstar Expands Investment Options: Morningstar Investment Services Inc. has added six new portfolios to its Managed Portfolios turnkey investment management program. The new Focused Strategies series includes four portfolios based on specific investment styles - Eclectic Value, Multi-Cap Growth, Small and Mid-Cap Equity, and Foreign Equity - and two portfolios based on differing investment strategies. The Concentrated Alpha Portfolio is focused on providing globally diversified equity exposure, while the Retirement Income Portfolio is designed to provide both equity and fixed-income exposure.

Financial Profiles Launches Profiles+ Professional version 6.7: The latest version of FP’s flagship Profiles+ Professional financial analysis tool features 2003 tax and Social Security rates, updated statistics and resources for output pages, and a new integrated link with Fixed Income Securities that enables users to create customized, live-market bond portfolios.

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