Barnett Banks Inc. is planning a major mutual fund marketing push for next month.
The campaign, which will include direct mailings and newspaper advertisements in Barnett's existing markets, will promote a new distribution channel for its proprietary Emerald Funds and tout SelecTrack, its third-party mutual fund service.
The push comes as Barnett makes its Emerald Funds available to investors through Fidelity Investments' mutual fund supermarket.
The Jacksonville, Fla., bank company stopped charging up-front fees for its Emerald Funds last February to prepare them for sale through Fidelity's Funds Network and other mutual fund supermarkets.
"We're also talking to other fund supermarkets, but Fidelity was the most receptive," said Peter Herlihy, director of mutual funds and annuities. Fidelity is the Emerald Funds' clearing agent, so it was the easiest distributor to work with, he said.
National distribution will help the Emerald Funds gain recognition as a brand name, Mr. Herlihy said.
Barnett is also hoping to establish a brand identity for SelecTrack, which offers 65 fund portfolios from 13 fund families, targeting 20 investment objectives. The campaign will include the first advertisements for SelecTrack.