With some fund firms eliminating B class shares and regulators cracking down on brokers who inappropriately sell the shares, one would almost think the "B" in "B class shares" stands, at the very least, for "bad."
One firm is trying a different approach: rather than banning B class share sales outright, Smith Barney
has enlisted an algorithm to render the issue of "appropriateness" moot. Smith Barney advisors do not have the choice to recommend a specific share class to their clients, explained W. Thomas Matthews
, president and chief executive officer of the Global Private Client Division of Smith Barney at Citigroup Global Markets at the Securities Industry Association
sales and marketing conference in New York.
Instead, an algorithm calculates the appropriate share class for an investor in a given product depending on relevant factors. Although Matthews said that Smith Barney's financial consultants do not like the system, he said that the system was preferable to an outright ban of B class shares.
Currently 16 percent of the Smith Barney division's clients' assets are in mutual funds, said Matthews.
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