In a first, Deutsche Bank will use the performance of funds it manages abroad to promote similar funds it is launching today in the United States.
Eight of the nine new funds are similar in portfolio structure to funds the Frankfurt-based bank sells in Europe. The German bank plans to take advantage of that by including in its U.S. fund prospectuses historical performance information for their corresponding European-registered funds.
A recent Securities and Exchange Commission policy change allows the move, Deutsche Fund executives say.
"We've been in this business 40 years," said Christian Strenger, chief executive and managing director of Deutsche Fund Management. "And we believe U.S. investors will come to value out international funds that take a local approach."
The Deutsche Funds are managed by Deutsche Fund Management, the U.S. subsidiary of DWS Group, the bank's retail mutual fund arm. They are distributed by Federated Services Co. and offered through Deutsche Bank's U.S. private bank as well as through other financial institutions.
So far, the bank has made no final sales agreements with other institutions.
Four of the new offerings are "Top 50" funds, which invest in 50 companies that the portfolio managers deem the top ones in a particular region. There is also a European mid-cap fund, a German equity fund, a Japanese equity fund, a global bond fund, and a European bond fund.
The bank plans to launch additional funds in the future, Mr. Strenger said, including a money market fund.
While Deutsche executives are optimistic U.S. investors will appreciate the bank's international money management record, they cannot widely advertise the similar funds' past performance-at least not yet.
On Monday, the National Association of Securities Dealers closed the comment period on a proposal dealing with related fund performance advertising. The proposal covers advertising cloned funds and advertising a mutual fund that was previously managed by the offered fund's portfolio manager.
Lipper Analytical Services, a New York firm that tracks and publishes mutual fund performance, will consider each fund individually and how closely it resembles the preexisting fund, said A. Michael Lipper, president.
"Anyone who wants to use preinception performance-if they come close and depending on what the NASD does-then we'll probably do it," Mr. Lipper said.
In general, he added, his firm is working on guidelines that mandate the old fund looks sufficiently like the new fund in a number of areas, including expenses, tax implications, and investment objectives, he said.