Marketing One Inc. of Portland, Ore., could be closing its doors in a few months, according to some of its clients.
"By the end of the summer they would like us to have found another broker-dealer," said James C. Hendricks, a senior vice president at Security Federal Savings Bank of Logansport, Ind.
Another program manager, who asked not to be identified, said Marketing One had told him in mid-April that it is closing.
However, Sovereign Bancorp of Wyomissing, Pa., said it knows only that Marketing One is for sale. A spokeswoman said the company has an agreement with the firm until September.
Marketing One, which several years ago was the top-selling provider of investment products to banks, has been bleeding clients in recent years because of mergers and missteps. Its parent, PennCorp Financial Group Inc. of New York, put it on the block several months ago but has found no takers.
PennCorp, however, did recently find a buyer for United Life and Annuity Co., a unit that shared executives with Marketing One. Two of them, Joel Kaplan, the president of Marketing One, and James M. Truax, the executive vice president, have been hired by ING Group of Amsterdam, which bought United Life.
A spokesman for PennCorp did not return a telephone call, and Marketing One declined to comment.