Charles Schwab & Co. is stepping up its effort to get banks and brokerages to distribute its OneSource mutual fund supermarket.
The San Francisco discount broker this week named an executive to coordinate its plans to offer OneSource through a wider range of financial services firms.
Charles "Chip" Roame, a Schwab vice president, is also responsible for developing new outlets for Schwab's own family of 30 mutual funds, which have $52 billion of assets under management.
The OneSource push comes nearly a year after Schwab began efforts to sign up banks to directly distribute the fund supermarket. OneSource, which offers access to about 600 no-load mutual funds, has $50 billion of assets under management.
Cleveland-based KeyCorp began offering its customers OneSource this summer, and Charlotte, N.C.-based First Union Corp. is set to do so in the next few weeks.
"We get lots of inquiries," said Mr. Roame, on whether Schwab could distribute OneSource through other companies or could build something similar to it but "a little bit different."
Although he declined to specify the companies Schwab will target, Mr. Roame said he would be "working with bank trust departments and brokers."
"Speaking much broader than banks is fair," he added.
Schwab will continue to court banks, Mr. Roame said. But when asked whether the firm is ready to announce any other banking partner, he said: "Not today, but stay tuned."
Mr. Roame has worked at Schwab for two and a half years as a vice president in its business strategy group. He is now heading what Schwab is calling "mutual fund strategy and new businesses"-an umbrella group encompassing three or four units within Schwab's fund operation.
He reports to John P. McGonigle, a Schwab senior vice president credited with founding the OneSource fund mart. Whether Schwab will hire additional people to assist Mr. Roame will depend on customer demand, he said.
Schwab already distributes OneSource to roughly 5,000 financial planners or investment advisers, noted equity analyst Steven Eisman of New York- based Oppenheimer & Co. He declined to speculate what type of financial institution the firm may now want to target.
Pursuing a broader range of distributors for both their own funds and OneSource would obviously generate more revenues for Schwab, said Perrin Long Jr., a veteran securities analyst based in Stamford, Conn.
Charles Schwab also plans to add a fund Sept. 16 to its OneSource Portfolios fund of funds program, said Cynthia Liu, a senior portfolio manager. Fund of funds describes a mutual fund that only invests in other mutual funds.
The new Charles Schwab OneSource Portfolios-small company fund will consist of third-party funds. OneSource Portfolios already has three such funds, all launched within the last year, said Ms. Liu.
The product group is primarily aimed at a retail investor segment "that usually cannot afford financial planners" but at the same time still needs help, said Ms. Liu. The average size of a shareholder's investment is roughly $7,000, she said.
The new fund will consist of 15 to 25 mutual funds that use the Russell 2000 small-cap index as a benchmark and will likely have $50 million or more under management, Ms. Liu added.