The marriage between NationsBank Corp. and an international money management firm is already bearing fruit, with the launch of three new global mutual funds.
NationsGartmore Investment Management, as the month-old joint venture between the North Carolina superregional and Gartmore Capital Management is called, already was managing an international equity fund. The additions, which will round out the Charlotte-based bank's offerings of 42 different Nations mutual fund portfolios and $17 billion in managed assets, are the Nations Emerging Markets Fund, the Nations Pacific Growth Fund, and the Nations Global Government Income Fund.
With NationsBank as adviser and marketer, NationsGartmore will play the role of subadviser to the four funds. They require a minimum investment of $1,000 - although trust clients will have higher minimums - and will be available to a variety of NationsBank customers, ranging from the retail to the high-end.
With the exception of the international equity fund, which has been in existence since 1991, this is NationsBank's first attempt at investing overseas for its clientele.
Robert H. Gordon, a NationsBank senior vice president, said the new fund offerings benefit from the money management expertise of NationsBank's equal partner in the joint venture, London-based Gartmore Capital.
"We're leveraging the experience of someone who has $32 billion in pension assets under management," Mr. Gordon said.
The portfolio manager for the emerging markets fund, for example, is Andrew Fleming, NationsGartmore's chief investment officer and an international investment expert.
It will remain to be seen whether the venture, which currently manages $700 million of assets, will achieve its goal of raising $5 billion within five years.
There is a reason for that ambitious goal. Under the deal struck for the joint venture, NationsBank has the option of buying up to 10% of Gartmore once NationsGartmore reaches the $5 billion mark.