While mutual fund assets overall have shifted from load to no-load funds, a study by Goldman, Sachs & Co. finds that banks' efforts to sell load products are lowering costs and improving service.

The study - which discussed trends in the money management industry - found that banks are doing a good job of capturing assets through brokers, adding that there are more than 960 different bank proprietary load mutual funds with assets totaling $37 billion.

The report stated that asset growth in the industry's largest segments - mutual funds, defined contributions, and traditional pensions and endowments - has slowed and resulted in too many money managers chasing too few assets.

Noting that those segments have grown at an annualized rate of 5.7% in the past five years versus 11.6% during the past 19, the study finds that the 2,900 money managers are a fragmented group ripe for consolidation.

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