Liberty Financial Cos. has revamped the variable annuity product it markets to banks.

The Boston investment product supplier introduced Preferred Advisor, replacing its eight-year-old Keyflex variable annunity.

Preferred Advisor was developed by Keyport Life Insurance, a divison of Liberty.

Variable annuities are tax deferred products that give customers the opportunity to choose from among a number of mutual fund-type investments.

Preferred Advisor features three new fund choices, managed by Colonial Management Associates of Boston.

The new funds invest in utilities, U.S. government securities, and growth and income stocks.

Preferred Advisor also retains seven fund options that the Keyflex annuity offered.

These choices, which include money market and asset allocation funds, are managed by Stein Roe & Farnham of Chicago, a Liberty affiliate.

Other new features include a reduction, to $250 from $1,000, in the minimum for additional investments in the annuity.

The so called "add-on" minimum was lowered to make the product accessible to more people, a spokeswoman said.

Liberty feels Preferred Advisor offers more flexibility than other annuities. Investors can discontinue payments at any time and take a lump-sum payout. They can, however, face tax penalties for doing this.

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