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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

One Group is No More

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

It is now official; The One Group Mutual Funds no longer exist. JPMorgan Asset Management absorbed the fund Tuesday into its JPMorgan Funds family. The merger of the two fund groups has been in the works since JP Morgan Chase took over Bank One last year. JPMorgan Funds officials said that they are supporting the newly merged funds through a "visible sales & marketing campaign."

"Less than a year ago we set out to accomplish a complex merger as quickly and efficiently as possible, to pass on the benefits of the combined firms to fund shareholders," said JPMorgan Funds President and CEO, George C.W. Gatch.

The combination pushes the bank funds family into the number five slot in Financial Research Corp.'s rankings of American funds. The funds have $208 billion in assets under management inside 101 mutual funds.

The mutual funds business is headquartered at 522 Fifth Avenue in New York, but retains "significant operations" in Columbus, Ohio, according to bank officials.

The fund group also retains more than 150 sales and marketing professionals organized by region and distribution channel.

Speaking of the marketing campaign being run around the new funds, Gatch said that the bank's goal is to communicate its "unique strengths" to help investors make more informed investment decisions. The ads started running this week in publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and the Columbus Dispatch.

The campaign's tagline -- "What it means to invest" -- carries the bank's message that it will "meet their [investors] goals and differentiate our offer in a crowded market-place," said Gatch.  

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