Bank of Oklahoma has taken the investment advisory services for all eight of its American Performance Funds family under its own roof.
The $3 billion-asset bank started making the investment picks for two money market mutual funds last August. The investment advisory task had been handled by AMR Investment Services, a unit of Dallas-based AMR Corp., which owns American Airlines.
The move will give the Tulsa-based bank more control over the investments in all of its proprietary funds as well as increase margins, said Mike Mantle, sales and marketing director for the trust investments group.
Mr. Mantle said the bank had no complaints with AMR, which they had contracted at the inception of the mutual fund program in 1990 to advise the two funds. AMR was a good choice because of its reputation and experience, he said.
But, as the bank learned more about mutual fund work it felt competent to take primary responsibility for investment picks. Still, Bank of Oklahoma will continue to consult with AMR as a sub-adviser, Mr. Mantle said.
Taking over the investment advisory duties required hiring a portfolio manager and a trader, bringing the trust investments staff to 18 people, Mr. Mantle said. The group makes investment decisions for the family's eight funds, which have $625 million in assets.
Bank of Oklahoma is also re-examining its contracts for distribution, transfer agency, and fund administration. The bank has requested proposals from companies interested in serving in those roles, Mr. Mantle said.
"We are visiting with all of the providers in the business," added Mr. Mantle, speaking a few days before traveling to meet with Forum Financial Group in Portland, Maine.
Distribution, transfer agency, and fund administration duties are currently handled by Bisys Corp., a Little Falls, N.J.-based company that purchased Winsbury Group Inc. last year.
The decision to seek bids from competing companies gives the bank a chance to re-evaluate the way it is conducting its fund business, Mr. Mantle said.
Mr. Moore is a freelance writer in Vassalboro, Maine