he shakeout of the fund industry looks like it is in full swing. The latest cut in the number of fund offerings is happening as part of the merger of US Bancorp
. Combined the two banks offer 74 funds with more than $50 billion in assets. But last week the firms filed proxies with the SEC asking for the fund complexes to be merged. If approved by shareholders, the action will shrink the combined complex to 55 funds.
Most of the funds being targeted for merger are money market funds and index funds, according to a spokesperson for US Bancorp. After the dust settles, the number of funds will likely climb by a handful as the firm is looking at adding new products, including a high-yield bond fund.
Firstar now has 32 funds with $17.4 billion in assets as of the end of March. Those funds will take the First American name after the shareholder vote. US Bancorp's First American family now has 42 funds and $33.9 billion in fund assets.
The staffs handling the two fund complexes were merged at the end of February into Minneapolis-based US Bancorp Piper Jaffray Asset Management under Tom Schreier
, chief executive officer. The bank does not expect any further layoffs to result from the merger of the fund families. Altogether the group has $117 billion in assets under management.
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