KeyCorp has launched a national advertising campaign to play up its abilities as a money manager.
The Cleveland banking company is touting the $20 billion Victory Funds to retail investors with advertisements appearing this month in USA Today and other major dailies. Ads targeting institutional investors are running in The Wall Street Journal this month and will run in Institutional Investor magazine and other periodicals catering to institutional money managers next year.
The campaign comes as KeyCorp embarks on a recently announced restructuring to lower costs across all business lines. Executives involved in the advertising push say their budgets have not been impacted, although spending for a second leg of the print campaign is still being worked out. They declined to say how much the bank is spending on the campaign. However Louis Harvey, president of Dalbar Inc. in Boston, who tracks fund marketing trends, estimated that KeyCorp is shelling out at least $250,000.
That expenditure is quite small compared with some of KeyCorp's bigger competitors. Fleet Boston Corp. of Boston and First Union Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., have spent several million dollars in recent years to reach a national audience through print and television advertising. KeyCorp's ads are designed to build assets by appealing to a broader group of investors, said Toby Carlin, marketing manager for the Victory Funds.
"There is a corporatewide drive to build fee income, and our effort dovetails with that," Mr. Carlin said.
The USA Today ad promotes the Victory Growth Fund, and touts its five-star ranking from Morningstar Inc., the Chicago fund-rating company. Prospective investors are urged to contact a representative of McDonald Investment Inc., KeyCorp's brokerage arm, or receive more information from the company's Web site.
The Wall Street Journal ad states that Key Asset Management, the bank's money management arm, has $75 billion in assets under management and a track record of optimizing returns while controlling risk.
Executives involved in the campaign acknowledge that the market is already crowded with firms offering asset management advice, but they say KeyCorp can stand out.
"We feel our strengths make our money management services appealing on a national level," said Pamela Glazer, head of marketing for KeyCorp Asset Management.