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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fund Servicer Unveils Distribution Business

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

It's no secret that fund distribution is getting more and more frustrating -- if not nigh impossible. Another resource has emerged to help small and medium firms to break through.

Huntington Asset Services, a subsidiary of Huntington Bank [profile], has unveiled a new distribution business designed to provide sales, distribution and marketing services to firms lacking the resources in this fiercely competitive game.

"About six months ago, we decided to bring the product side of Huntington Funds and the distribution services with our asset services group so we can provide both distribution and product management to all of our clients," Huntington vice president Paula Jurcenko told MFWire.

Huntington's own fund family includes 19 mutual funds and four money market funds. Jurcenko and her colleagues have worked for over a year to expand Huntington's distribution and sales capabilities.

Her firm now has roughly a half dozen hybrid wholesalers and two internals. She contributes to the the national accounts function.

They are aggressively growing their presence on the supermarket platforms. For example, they just signed with Merrill and are already on Schwab and LPL.

As they continue to grow their functionality, they have begun to reach out to the roughly 150 asset managers who are already clients of Huntington's asset servicing business.

For the next six months, according to Jurcenko, Huntington will work with a small group of clients to roll out the services before expanding the offerings more broadly.

"Small asset advisors, and even medium sized advisors, struggle with one primary issue: getting into distribution and growing their asset base. Many managers have great ideas about managing funds, but getting traction for these funds and getting your name known out there, getting out to advisors and getting in the door is a tough mountain to climb," she said. 

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