Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co. is widening the distribution of its funds through banks with the addition of BB&T Corp.s and Northern Trust Securities networks of financial advisers.
BB&T Corp., of Winston-Salem, N.C., now includes Fidelity Advisor Funds among the product lines it offers to investors and businesses through its 92 advisers. They are located in bank branches in North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia, and the District of Columbia.
Northern Trust Securities, part of Northern Trust Bank of Chicago, has also added the funds to its preferred list. It has 45 licensed brokers in its offices in Illinois, Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California.
We do business with literally hundreds of banks around the country, and we view the bank channel as a growth channel within the Fidelity organization, said Gary Cohen, senior vice president and national sales manager of the bank broker-dealer group at Fidelity Investments Institutional Services in Boston. Fidelity Advisor Funds are sold only through financial advisers.
More and more today, with all the information out there in the marketplace, people are really looking for help and guidance to sort through the maze, which is why they are turning to advisers, Mr. Cohen said.
Fidelity provides advisers with tools to expand their business and help them serve consumers, he said. For example, it recently launched a Web-based planning tool, LifeStage Planning, which advisers can use to help clients plan for events such as retirement or the death of a spouse.
Donald Renick, vice president of BB&T Investment Services Inc., said in a press statement that his company decided to add Fidelitys funds because of its successful track record with other banks.
Lloyd Wennlund, president of Northern Trust Securities, said the Fidelity funds are on its preferred list because of their depth and consistent performance. There are so many fund companies, he said. We want to be focused on the ones that have the overall best depth of product and service.
Fidelity Advisor Funds is a family of 43 mutual funds with $69.1 billion of assets under management of Aug. 31. The target customer is any potential investor who wants to work with an adviser, Mr. Cohen said.
Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co. provides investment management services to 4,200 financial institutions, including wirehouses, regional and independent broker-dealers, banks, trust companies, and insurance companies. It had $215.8 billion of assets under management as of Aug. 31.