Three years ago, Eaton Vance Corp. thought it had a great idea to get more banks to market the bond fund portfolios it manages.

The Boston-based municipal bond fund company became the first to begin offering a "hub and spoke" fund structure. Under this arrangement, Eaton Vance would act as a "hub" portfolio manager, generating fees from bank fund families - the "spokes" - which would market the pooled assets under their own names.

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