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Monday, June 12, 2000

ARK Funds Mulls Expansion

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

ARK Funds, the proprietary mutual fund family of Allfirst Financial, may be breaking out of the MidAtlantic. The fund family is considering
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expanding the geographic region that it serves and is contemplating adding wholesalers to support any changes.

Michele Dalton, senior vice president for the Baltimore-based fund family confirmed that the company is considering the changes as part of its budgeting process for 2001.

Currently the load funds are sold in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. ARK currently employes two wholesalers to handle distribution.

ARK is now evaluating what services to offer in what regions, how to service those clients, and how many wholesalers are needed, said Dalton.

Meanwhile, Allfirst Financial, ARK's parent has tapped Jessica W. Jennings as principal to head institutional sales and marketing out of New York City. Her primary responsibility will be business development in the not-for-profit sector, according to the company.

Jennings will also represent ARK Funds in cases where institutional buyers are seeking funds rather than Allfirst separate account products.

Jennings was most recently directed sales and marketing for Christian Brothers Investment Services. Prior to that position she worked for Bankers Trust for 14 years in marketing, sales and relationship management.

Both Allfirst and ARK Funds are owned by Allied Irish Bank

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