Massachusetts Financial Services was one of the first U.S. fund companies to build its own portfolios offshore. But it is also relying on a joint venture to help it gain access to investors overseas.

The Boston-based fund company inked an agreement in March 1995 with Germany's Hypo Bank, and Hypo's partner, London-based Foreign & Colonial. Established in 1868, Foreign & Colonial is an investment management firm in which Hypo owns a 65% stake.

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