TORONTO — In separate announcements last week, Bank of Montreal said it will start a mutual fund company in China and that it has opened a private banking and investment services office in Phoenix.

Its partner in the Chinese venture is Fullgoal Fund Management Co. in Beijing, which has $1.5 billion of assets under management to Bank of Montreal’s $301 billion.

Bank of Montreal vice chairman William A. Downe said his company sought the alliance because it wanted to be the first to create a family of funds in China, which is freeing up its financial markets by joining the World Trade Organization.

The joint venture will create and distribute mutual fund products in China, introduce Chinese mutual funds to international investors, and introduce funds from other countries to the Chinese market.

Bank of Montreal has named the new Phoenix office The Harris, after its Chicago subsidiary, Harris Bankcorp. It opened Thursday and its offerings include portfolio management, financial planning, estate planning, and trust services.

Bank of Montreal opened the Phoenix office Thursday and says it is the prototype for others it plans to open nationwide to expand its wealth management business.

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