Chase Manhattan Corp. is planning to add three international portfolios to the 43 mutual funds it sells in the United States.
The new portfolios, which will invest in Pacific Rim, Japanese, and European stocks, will be available by April, said Steven Samson, product development director for Chase's Vista mutual fund family.
At a press briefing in New York on Tuesday, Mr. Samson added that the new funds will be clones of investment funds that Chase currently operates for investors outside this country.
Chase plans to market the new international mutual funds first through its private banking department. Once they attract a critical mass of assets, they will be sold to retail investors by brokers in Chase branches, and through the more than 900 outside brokerage and financial advisory firms that sell the Vista funds.
Currently, the only international mutual funds in the Vista family that are available to U.S. investors are an international equity and a global bond fund.
At the press briefing, Chase officials also elaborated on their plans to rank among the country's mutual fund giants.
With $8.1 billion of proprietary mutual fund assets, including about $700 million in overseas mutual funds, Chase currently ranks as the country's 56th-largest mutual fund manager, according to company officials.
But Mr. Samson declared Chase's intention to rank among the country's 10 largest mutual fund managers in 10 years. To that end, the company gave reporters all-cotton golfing shirts with the obscure "10 in 10" slogan printed over the heart.
In the near term, Chase is looking for growth from fund sales and acquisitions. By 1997, the banking company aims to have $25 billion of assets in its mutual funds, including $6 billion from acquisitions, said Leonard M. Spalding Jr., chief executive of the Chase unit that runs the Vista funds. He added that while Chase is presently looking over two or three modest acquisition candidates, no deals are imminent.
Chase also is gearing up this year to start selling two new variable annuity products, one aimed at retail investors and another at the wealthy.