Banc One Investment Advisors
is stepping up plans to make its foray into the separate accounts arena early in 2004. Shawn Alexander
, managing director marketing, said the firm has been managing separate account strategies for trust clients for some time, but is now looking to capitalize on the business and help rake in new assets by offering its own strategy to the external marketplace. To that end, the firm is in the early stages of conducting due diligence work to find a platform that would provide the best operational efficiency, she added, declining to name potential vendors with which the firm is having preliminary discussions.
"Banc One has some well-performing fixed income, equity, and specialized products such as tax-managed and long/short products that will do well in a separate account strategy," she noted.
Although plans are in its infancy, Banc One will likely seek to utilize the same distribution channels it currently uses, such as Merrill Lynch
, and A.G. Edwards
, said Alexander.
In a separate move, the mutual fund division, One Group Mutual Funds, has begun arming its internal and external wholesalers with NASD-approved marketing pieces to help educate them about the new One Group Market Neutral Mutual Fund
The fund is currently in a subscription period through May 23, when it will officially open.
"Since our wholesalers are our target audience, we are providing wholesalers with marketing pieces and education to help them understand what role it can play in the asset allocation strategy," Alexander said.
The firm is also rolling out client and sales reps materials, she added. The market neutral fund offers enhanced return and low portfolio risk when added to a portfolio of stocks and bonds, said fund manager and quantitative team leader, Bala Iyer
. The fund is being offered in A, B, C and I-shares at a $10,000 minimum investment. It offers daily liquidity and redemption privileges such as a no-charge fee if redeemed within 90 days of purchase.
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