Keystone Group Inc. has put Ralph J. Spuehler Jr. in charge of its mutual fund distribution division.

in addition to being named president of Keystone Distributors Inc., Mr. Spuehler retains his title as chairman of Keystone Investor Resource Inc., the Boston-based mutual fund company's service and operations unit.

"In his new post, Mr. Spuehler oversees the sales force that markets Keystone's mutual funds to banks and other intermediaries.

He replaces Stephen J. Arpante, who has retired but remains a director of Keystone Group.

Unlike many mutual fund companies that sell directly to customers and market their products through intermediaries. Keystone does not sell directly to the public.

That allows Keystone to focus all its attention on meeting the needs of financial advisers, Mr. Spuehler said in an interview.

"We think that the financial adviser has a role to play in this field. going forward." he said.

Before joining Keystone, Mr. Spuehler, who is a certified public accountant. was with Price Waterhouse for eight years.

He started his career with Keystone as treasurer of mutual funds. then became corporate chief financial officer.

In 1987. he started the investor resources group, known as KIRC.

Before that division was created, the company had farmed out its mutual fund servicing and operations business.

"For us to be a competitor in this business, we needed to control the servicing and operations," he said.

Edward J. Falvey, who was promoted to president of KIRC in February, handles the day-to-day operations of that division.

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