Huntington Bancshares of Columbus, Ohio, is the latest banking company to use its brand name to promote its mutual funds.
The 133-year-old company renamed its proprietary fund family the Huntington Funds this month. Established in 1987, the $2.89 billion fund family had been known as the Monitor Funds.
"We wished to build on the brand identity of the Huntington name and its long history as a provider of financial services," said Richard W. Stenberg, director of the bank's private financial group. "Being part of the team means wearing the same uniform."
Huntington's move to capitalize on its corporate identity mirrors one by another Ohio bank late last year.
Fifth Third Bank stamped its brand name on the former Fountain Square Funds to build a name for the fund family outside its hometown of Cincinnati.
In 1996 Citigroup, then Citicorp, scrapped the Landmark moniker on its fund family in favor of the more recognizable Citi name now sported by its two families of portfolios, CitiFunds and CitiSelect.
Huntington has 12 mutual funds including a new bond fund rolled out Dec. 31, the Florida Tax-Free Municipal Fund.
The new trademark for the funds uses a boxed H as seen in the $27.3 billion-asset bank's corporate logo. Mr. Stenberg said there are no plans to launch a fund-specific marketing campaign touting the new name. Shareholders have already been notified of the name change by mail, he said.
Meanwhile, the funds will be sold as a part of a new fee-based asset management account aimed at brokerage customers of the bank's Huntington Investment Co. subsidiary, Mr. Stenberg said.
Unveiled this month, the Huntington Asset Management Account is a wrap program aimed at customers with $1 million or more to invest. The account differs from a typical transactional brokerage relationship in that a qualified broker helps customers design a portfolio rather than simply selling them securities.
The account also differs from a traditional Huntington private banking relationship, which Mr. Stenberg said reaches beyond brokerage into other areas of the bank.
Just under half of Huntington's 55 Series 7 brokers are licensed to sell the account. Huntington will charge an annual advisory fee of up to 110 basis points, Mr. Stenberg said.