C. Todd Conover, a former comptroller of the currency, has launched an investment advisory firm.

Mr. Conover, who was comptroller from 1981 to 1985, and Harvey A. Rowen, who was president of Charles Schwab Trust Co. until 1996, founded Starmont Asset Management in San Francisco.

The boutique will manage portfolios of no-load mutual funds for investors.

Though Starmont will initially advise individual investors, the firm will eventually work with 401(k) and 403(b) plan sponsors and with community banks, the spokesman said.

Since leaving the Comptroller's Office, Mr. Conover has worked as a management consultant and as a private investment adviser, the spokesman said. Mr. Conover wrote "The Art of Astute Investing: Building Wealth With No-Load Mutual Funds."

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