Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., a stalwart of American private banking, is getting into the retail mutual fund business.

The New York-based partnership has signed an agreement to make six of its 59 proprietary Wall St. Funds available through Charles Schwab & Co.'s OneSource network early next month.

The funds first entered the retail market in late August with minimum investments of $2,500 made through Jack White & Co.; they hit the shelves of Fidelity's fund supermarket in October. Initial investments for individual retirement accounts can be as low as $500.

Brown Brothers, which manages $25 billion for individuals and institutions, hasn't sought out retail investors but has received many inquiries from them over the years, because its performance records get a lot of press.

"At some point it becomes a little tiring to tell them our funds are not available," said John A. Nielson, a partner.

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