Banc One Corp. has settled on a list of seven outside fund families that it will offer customers.
The move to finalize a list of fund offerings is seen by some experts as a sign that the Columbus, Ohio-based banking company is finally whipping its investment sales program into shape after a slump in sales and a management shake-up last summer.
Banc One confirmed that its mutual fund roster includes funds from AIM Capital Management, Alliance Capital Management, Fidelity Investments, Kemper Financial, Oppenheimer Management Corp., Putnam Investments, and Van Kampen Merritt.
The banking company will also offer customers funds from its proprietary One Group of Funds.
Officials at Banc One declined to give further details.
The fund companies that made the list can expect a significant boost in distribution, some experts said. Banc One, with $89 billion of assets, is one of the largest banking companies in the country; it has about 600 retail investment centers in the Midwest and West.
Last June, Banc One drew up a "short list" of preferred funds for its investment representatives but never implemented it, said sources close to the company. The new list was decided on in late March and will be in force by May 1, according to the sources, who declined to be identified.
Among the companies that were considered but cut from the final list were Massachusetts Financial Services, Colonial Mutual Funds, and Franklin Resources, sources said.
Terrence P. Cunningham, a national sales manager for Kemper Financial Institutions Group, said getting the spot on Banc One's short list will help propel Kemper's fund sales this year. Through March, 15% of Kemper's mutual fund sales had come through banks. Mr. Cunningham said he hopes to boost that ratio to 20% by yearend with some help from Banc One.
Kurt Cerulli, principal of Cerulli Associates, a Boston-based consulting firm, said fund companies will sometimes make concessions to large banks in order to make it onto their short lists. The concessions can include giving the bank a bigger cut of sales revenue - 25 to 50 basis points of total sales, he estimated.
Last summer, Banc One's effort to market funds was set back by the loss of three high-level executives, including Robert Flowers, president of Banc One Securities Corp., and Paul Walsh, chairman of Banc One Investors Services Group. Experts said the high-level departures had contributed to a 29% decline in Banc One's mutual fund sales last year.