LaSalle Selling 2 CDs Tied to Stock Indexes

LaSalle Bank, the Chicago subsidiary of ABN Amro of Amsterdam, has unveiled two equity-linked certificates of deposit - one tied to the Nasdaq 100 index and one tied to the Nikkei 225.LaSalle is issuing the Nikkei 225 index-linked CD, which is noncallable and matures in six years. The CD tied to the Nasdaq 100, issued by Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union Corp., is callable and matures in six years.

Index-linked CDs are "a great asset allocation tool," said Patrick J. Kelly, a senior vice president in LaSalle's Boca Raton, Fla., broker-dealer services division. "It allows someone to get exposure to the market and not have to bear market risk."

LaSalle introduced a callable CD linked to the S&P 500 in July, and Mr. Kelly said LaSalle is looking at issuing other index-linked CDs as soon as next month. CDs linked to European exchanges, as well as to technology-oriented indexes, are being considered, he said.

The CDs are available through broker-dealers for a minimum investment of $10,000, Mr. Kelly said.

- Amy L. Anderson

Van Kasper Puts Equity Offerings On-Line

First Security Van Kasper, the investment banking arm of Salt Lake City-based First Security Corp., began selling private and public equity offerings over the Internet this week to the retail customers of a Santa Monica, Calif., on-line financial services company.First Security Van Kasper of San Francisco expects to attract about $200 million of investments during the first year of its deal with Direct Stock Market.

Investment opportunities will include private placements and public offerings, typically in the range of $10 million or less, said F. Van Kasper, president of First Security Van Kasper.

The service gives people investment opportunities that were once only available to large institutional investors, Mr. Van Kasper said. "The venture capital market has tended to shun retail investors in the past."

- Karen Talley

Sovereign Increases 3d-Party Marketer's Role

Independent Financial Marketing Group Inc. is expanding its investment sales program at Sovereign Bank, a subsidiary of $25 billion-asset Sovereign Bancorp of Wyomissing, Pa.The Purchase, N.Y., third-party marketer began selling mutual funds and annuities Dec. 1 in 27 branch offices that Sovereign acquired in 1998 when it bought ML Bancorp of Villanova, Pa.

In the spring Independent Financial is to begin selling securities in the 278 newly acquired Sovereign branches in New England that were divested as part of the merger of Fleet Financial Group and BankBoston Corp.

A spokeswoman said Independent Financial expects to hire about 50 securities brokers and a handful of sales managers to staff the branches.

Independent Financial also plans to build an "annuity specialist team" in the New England branches by giving additional training to platform employees who already sell annuities, the spokeswoman said.

-Amy L. Anderson

Vanguard Adds Third Subadviser for Fund

Vanguard Group of Valley Forge, Pa., has chosen Wellington Management Company LLP as one of three subadvisers to its equity income fund.Wellington Management of Boston is to succeed Spare, Kaplan, Bischel & Associates on Jan. 1, the fund company said Tuesday. The fund's other advisers are Newell Associates, which has been an adviser since the fund's inception in 1988, and John A. Levin & Co., which was appointed co-manager in 1995.

Vanguard and Wellington have a longtime working relationship. Indeed, the company acts as partial subadviser for 12 Vanguard mutual funds, a Wellington spokesman said.

The Vanguard Equity Income Fund has more than $3 billion of assets, and the company manages more than $530 billion of assets.

- Cheryl Winokur

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