A Boston-based mutual fund service company has hired a bank executive to guide new product development at the firm.

Funds Distributor named Bernard A. Whalen as first vice president and director of new product development, a new position at the company.

Mr. Whalen was previously national sales manager for U.S. Trust's UST Master funds.

Betsy Connolly, president of Funds Distributor, said the new position was needed to help the company exploit the market for mutual funds sold as parts of other products, such as variable annuities.

"We see packaged products as being the future of the mutual fund business," she said.

We want to bring our customers ideas and technology for bundling mutual funds into asset allocation, variable annuities, and 401(k) products, Ms. Connolly said.

Mr. Whalen is leading that effort from Fund Distributors' New York office. He currently manages a staff of two.

Ms. Connolly said that could grow to a six by yearend.

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