NationsBank Corp. has signed up two fund industry veterans for its investment products business.
Irwin Bernstein of Charles Schwab & Co. has joined NationsBank as senior vice president and general manager of NationsBanc Investments Inc., the discount brokerage of the Charlotte, N.C., banking company. And Lori Collins of Fidelity Investments is set to join NationsBank as a senior vice president of marketing, according to a company spokeswoman.
Mr. Bernstein's responsibilities include the management and supervision of Fund Solutions, the bank's mutual fund 'supermarket.'
"At NationsBank, we want customers to be able to go back and forth" between the full-service and discount brokerage units, Mr. Bernstein said. Most banks have not put a lot of time or money into the discount broker side of the business, he said.
Geoffrey Bobroff, a mutual fund consultant in East Greenwich, R.I., said that by hiring an executive with experience at a discount brokerage with a fund supermarket, NationsBank is confirming its commitment to its new fund mart.
"Clearly NationsBank is quite serious" about its fund supermarket initiative, he said.
Mr. Bernstein was regional vice president of retail sales for the Southeast at Charles Schwab & Co. Before that, he spent 14 years at Citibank. He joined NationsBank this month and reports to Mark H. Williamson, head of the proprietary NationsFunds.
Ms. Collins, who will join NationsBank later this month, will be responsible for marketing efforts for NationsFunds, according to a company spokeswoman. It is a new position.
She will report to Robert Gordon, senior vice president of marketing at NationsBanc Advisors, a bank subsidiary.
Ms. Collins was vice president of Fidelity Brokerage's mutual fund supermarket, Fund Mart.
The supermarket distribution method was pioneered by Schwab three years ago. NationsBank is the most recent company to hop aboard. Its Fund Solutions offers some 300 no-load mutual funds from more than 20 fund companies, including Berger Associates, Invesco Funds, Janus Funds, and Scudder Stevens & Clark.