Harris Bank and a division of Fidelity Investments have created a 401(k) program to tap a fast-growing market - businesses with $1 million to $5 million of revenue.
Harris Insight Retirement Connection aims to increase the company's share of that market, said William Downe, vice chairman of the private client group at Bank of Montreal, the parent company of Chicago-based Harris. The group includes its retirement business.
Insight Retirement Connection accounts will consist largely of Harris' Insight Funds and the Advisor Funds of Boston-based Fidelity Investments, Mr. Downe said.
Back-office technology and access to the Fidelity funds will be provided by Fidelity Investment Institutional Services Co., which manages sales through banks, broker-dealers, and other intermediaries.
Donald Holborn, executive vice president of that unit, said businesses of the target size are the prime growth market for retirement services, because that is the size at which businesses consider developing retirement plans.
Mr. Downe said such businesses also typically have strong relationships with their banks.
Fidelity's back-office expertise in record keeping, statement generation, and investor education programs will help Harris keep costs down and make money running retirement plans, which generally require scale to be profitable, Mr. Downe said.
Fidelity already handles the back-office functions for retirement plans run by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., and First Tennessee Bank, Mr. Holborn said.
Both companies also see the alliance as having longer-term strategic benefits, Mr. Holborn said. Many of the businesses targeted already have some kind of relationship with Harris, and the new offering will strengthen Harris' relationships with them as well as introducing them to Fidelity's funds, he said.
Mr. Downe said Harris needs to have a retirement product that targets this end of the market to round out its business offerings, even though "it's not a business we are going to dominate."
Bank of Montreal manages private client assets of about $240 billion, Mr. Downe said. That includes assets that Harris holds, but he declined to break them out or reveal revenue goals for the new project.
The bank's retirement business is part of its private client business.