Disintermediation, generally a worry for retail outfits, may soon become a concern for one of the more protected cubbyholes of finance, the world of the bond mutual fund manager.

Bank of America Corp., working through a joint venture with the Chicago investment banking firm Incapital, has for the last couple of weeks sold about $385 million of fixed-income securities. It has bypassed institutional investors and is pitching the notes in bite-size denominations straight to retail customers.

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