Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi has teamed up with Frank Russell Co. of Tacoma, Wash., to offer multimanager mutual funds in Japan.

The M-Cube Russell Investment Program, introduced July 8 at 48 of the bank's branches, offers four investment trusts-the Japanese equivalent of mutual funds.

Because multimanager funds are more diversified, they are considered to carry lower risk than customary fund portfolios.

Russell said it expects to make the funds available in all of the bank's branches this year. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi has a majority stake in Union Bank of California, San Francisco.

Though other multimanager funds are available in Japan, Russell's approach differs in the amount of research that goes into manager selection, a Russell spokesman said. Other companies might just select managers from different asset levels, he said, but Russell focuses on manager style and philosophy as well.

Russell, which has operated a consulting practice in Japan for 12 years, opened its investment branch in Tokyo this year to kick off the multimanager funds.

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