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Monday, April 08, 2002

MainStay Notches Up

by: Tony Pennino

The beleaguered MainStay Funds has made some improvements to its website for financial advisors, a spokesperson with the firm told the MutualFundWire.com. The new Online Sales Desk is intended to assist the advisor in drilling down for more specific information.

The site debuts today. The new features include:
  • new home page (which includes personalized name and wholesaler contact information),
  • articles and updates,
  • select-a-fund access,
  • video commentary,
  • monthly audio updates,
  • daily prices as well as monthly and quarterly performance figures,
  • prospecting library,
  • other sales and marketing materials,
  • data on targeting Generation X investors and IRA rollover markets,
  • and a personal fund watchlist.
The spokesperson reported that broker/dealers will have access to individual client account information.

The New York Life unit's interest in GenX may stem from a belief -- based on a survey the firm commissioned last summer -- that members of GenX make good customers and that they share the same concerns as baby boomers.

MainStay's efforts, apart from keeping up with the Joneses (a number of other fund companies, such as Alliance, are enhancing their online features for advisors), may be part of a program to win the hearts and minds of the advisor community. Advisors can hardly be ignorant of MainStay's ongoing legal difficulties and the federal court's decision late last year to classify a lawsuit concerning in-house retirement plans as a class action. Nothing makes advisors smile like performance, but additional tools to help make the job easier can never hurt. 

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