Seeking to attract assets as quickly as possible, Citicorp will offer its new family of mutual funds without a sales charge, at least initially.
The banking giant Wednesday formally announced its CitiSelect portfolios, a widely anticipated family of asset-allocation mutual funds. Citicorp said it would make the funds available to investors next Monday.
During a special introductory period, which will run through July 19, Citicorp will waive the funds' commission fee, or "load." Thereafter, CitiSelect portfolios, which require a minimum investment of $1,000, will carry a load of 4%. Investments of $100,000 or more will qualify for a declining load structure.
By waiving sales fees for a limited time, Citicorp is looking to make a quick splash in a market to which it is a relative latecomer, observers said. Unlike most big banks, Citicorp has placed relatively little emphasis on proprietary funds until now.
"It's a call to action to get people to invest now," said Les Dinkin, managing principal of NBW Consulting Group. "Citi wants to foster immediate investor interest."
While the company's Citibank unit is acting as lead investment adviser, a slew of subadvisers have been retained to help handle specific asset classes.
They include Miller Anderson & Sherrerd for large-cap value stocks, Franklin Advisory Services for small-cap value stocks, Hotchkis & Wiley for international stocks; and Pacific Investment Management Co. for international bonds.
"They are looking for aggressive performance to help them position themselves against other mutual funds," Mr. Dinkin said. "They want to move away from the preconceived notion that banks cannot manage money."