E*TRADE is promising fund companies that it will increase its role in their distribution by offering new initiatives in the affluent and retirement markets. Amy Erret, chief asset gathering officer at the Palo Alto-based brokerage house is heading the new efforts. Erret recently joined E*TRADE from the Spectrem Group where she was chief executive officer.
Rumors that the firm has been exploring ways to enter the 401(k) market have been long-running. Now it appears that it is finally ready to pull the trigger. It has also tapped Barry Shub to head the 401(k) efforts. Sources report that the product is being prepared for a Summer launch.
The product will be Web-based, according to sources at the company. It will also take advantage of E*TRADE's extensive distribution system for outside mutual funds.
Still, even in the near-virgin territory of the Net E*TRADE
will find plenty of competition from both the old and the new. Last fall
Fidelity launched its e401k for the start-up plan market and now claims 250
clients. It also recently announced that the e401k can accept plan conversions.
Last Fall, Schwab's John Coghlan told advisors at Schwab's annual conference
that the brokerage was exploring opportunities to offer a similar product.
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