B of A Revising Preferred-Provider List

Bank of America's brokerage arm is reviewing its "short list" of mutual fund providers and plans to unveil a new one within three weeks. Richard V. Downen, president of Banc of America Investment Services Inc., said in a telephone interview that final decisions have not been made, but the list will not be longer and may contain fewer than the 12 mutual fund vendors it has now."There's only so many things anyone can focus on," he said.

Making the short list is important to fund vendors because a bank's brokers may sell exclusively from it or turn to it first when recommending purchases to customers.

Though Banc of America Investment Services reviews its short list annually, Mr. Downen said the scrutiny is particularly tight for next year, which would be his first full year as the unit's head. Bank of America of Charlotte, N.C., officially merged the brokerage arms of the former NationsBank and the old BankAmerica Corp. in July, though Mr. Downen took the helm in February.

Mr. Downen said the funds are being graded on categories such as performance, broker support, and responsiveness. The firm's analysis of fund partners extends to a few firms that are not on this year's list, but have asked to be considered, he said.

The list for this year consists of Nations Funds, the banking company's proprietary fund family, as well as funds from Aim Management Group, Alliance Capital Management, Colonial Management Associates, Federated Investors, Fidelity Investments, Franklin Templeton Group, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Hartford Life, Massachusetts Financial Services, Putnam Investments, and Van Kampen Investments Inc.

Bank of America is the largest seller of mutual funds through banks, based on a 1998 survey by Kenneth Kehrer Associates of 85 banking companies that account for 65% of mutual fund sales through that channel. The company placed ahead of Bank One Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., and Citigroup Inc., according to Kenneth Kehrer, who heads the Princeton, N.J., consulting firm.

- Cheryl Winokur

KeyCorp Names Institutional Client Chief

Key Asset Management, the investment advisory arm of Cleveland-based KeyCorp, announced the appointment of Christina Loddo Epstein as senior managing director and head of client management for institutional clients.Ms. Epstein, 41, oversees more than 100 client service managers nationwide who work with corporate plan sponsors, Taft-Hartley plans, and public and charitable funds. She reports to Richard K. Buoncore, chief executive officer of Key Asset Management.

Ms. Epstein succeeded John Ryan, who is now a senior portfolio manager and managing director in Key Asset Management's individual client group. She joined Key Asset Management in September from Bankers Trust's global asset management group in New York, where she was a principal and the business manager for its worldwide custody clients.

Key Asset Management has about $80 billion of assets under management.

- Amy L. Anderson

Goldman Sachs Hires Two from Franklin

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. of New York announced two appointments in the investment management division of its asset management group. Thomas Kenny was named managing director and head of municipal securities, and Benjamin Barber was named portfolio manager. Mr. Kenny previously headed the municipal bond department of Franklin Advisers Inc. of San Mateo, Calif. Mr. Barber also came to Goldman Sachs from Franklin, where he was a portfolio manager.

Ex-Regulator to Lead Mass. Insurance Group

Andrew J. Calamare, 44, was elected president of the Life Insurance Association of Massachusetts last week.Mr. Calamare, who was state banking commissioner from 1987 to 1990, succeeds William F. Carroll, who retired after 15 years as president. Mr. Calamare was most recently counsel at Quinn & Morris, a Boston law firm.

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