Ohio Fund Firm Joins Web Reporting System

Nationwide Financial of Columbus, Ohio, has agreed to supply insurance and investment product information to MoneyStar Financial Network, the companies announced Monday.The information, to be supplied to a network of brokers via the Internet, will be available on-line by the end of the month. MoneyStar, based in Austin, Tex., would then have data on 110 mutual funds and annuities on its network.

Nationwide made the move because a client, California Federal Bank, uses the system, said Karen L. Eisenbach, vice president and manager of variable annuities. She said the system could also reduce paper clutter and simplify broker access to product information.

"It becomes a focused way to deliver information. However, it does not replace wholesalers," she said.

In addition to California Federal, Wells Fargo also uses the service, along with MoneyStar's related software program for brokers who create financial planning models for customers.

Separately, Nationwide registered a mutual fund Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Morley Enhanced Income Fund is to be managed by Union Bond and Trust Co. of Lake Oswego, Ore. The fund is designed to create current income and preserve capital.

- Michael O'D. Moore

Aim Management Group Adds Three Wholesalers

Aim Management Group Inc. of Houston has hired three field wholesalers for the bank channel, bringing the total to 21.The fund company increased its territories from 18 to 21 and increased the wholesaling staff as a result, said Michael C. Vessels, senior vice president and national sales manager.

Aim also plans to hire a director of key accounts during the first quarter, Mr. Vessels said.

The hirings partly reflect a stellar year for the fund company, which expects its mutual fund sales through financial institutions to total $4.2 billion to $4.4 billion this year. That would be up 40% to 45% from last year, Mr. Vessels said.

Aim had $112.3 billion of assets under management in retail and institutional mutual funds on Oct. 31, according to Financial Research Corp. of Boston.

- Cheryl Winokur

Firstar to Close Fund To New Participants

Firstar Corp. of Milwaukee plans to close a proprietary mutual fund to new investors on Jan. 14, according to a recent regulatory filing.The Firstar MicroCap Fund is to keep accepting purchases by existing shareholders as well as purchases made through reinvestment of dividend and capital gains distributions, Tuesday's Securities and Exchange Commission filing said.

The fund had $172.6 million of assets under management in retail and institutional classes on Oct. 31, according to Lipper Inc. of Summit, N.J. It may reopen to new investors at the discretion of the investment adviser, the filing said.

Firstar Funds Inc. had $11.3 billion of assets under management on Oct. 31, Lipper said.

- Cheryl Winokur

Pa. Fund Marketer Wins Its Biggest Bank Client

T.H.E. Financial Group, a third-party marketer in Mechanicsburg, Pa., has added its largest bank client to date. Monday, it began selling equities, mutual funds, and annuities in the eight branches of $560 million-asset Community Banks Inc. of Millersburg, Pa.T.H.E. Financial has 23 community bank clients, all in Pennsylvania.

- Amy L. Anderson

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