First Michigan Bank Corp. is setting its sights on the emerging affluent with a new account designed for people with $50,000 to $200,000 to invest.
Dubbed Portfolio One, the new account combines First Michigan's own mutual funds with funds from established industry giants like Fidelity and Putnam. An asset allocation product, Portfolio One uses financial planning software to tailor the investment allocation to the customer.
"We're trying to make our investment ability available to a broader range of prospects and clients within our banking system," said Brian J. Hoogland, president of FMB Trust, a unit of $3.3 billion- asset First Michigan.
First Michigan, which has 14 affiliate banks with 86 branches in Michigan, is making a concerted effort to modernize its trust services and products. To spearhead that move, the bank's chief financial officer, Larry D. Fredricks, started overseeing the trust and investment services groups late last year.
The new account, which became available in July, represents the first time that the trust unit of the Holland, Mich.-based bank has focused on clients with less than $200,000 to invest. The bank has $1.9 billion in trust assets under management.
Mr. Hoogland said the bank already uses Fidelity and Putnam funds for its 401(k) clients. It extended its relationships with those companies for the Portfolio One product.
"We introduced it along with a very strong marketing campaign internally, and response has been very, very good," he said. "We already set up a number of accounts in our first few days."
Portfolio One also draws from the banks' four proprietary funds: a core equity fund, an intermediate government income fund, a money market fund, and a Michigan tax-free bond fund.