Dreyfus Corp. said it has started selling a socially responsible fund, the $1.2 billion Dreyfus Premier Third Century Fund, through third parties to boost distribution.

The fund, formerly called the Dreyfus Third Century Fund, became available through financial advisers, broker-dealers, and other financial intermediaries on Aug. 31, said New York-based Dreyfus, Mellon Bank Corp.'s asset management arm.

The fund invests in companies that meet traditional investment standards while improving the quality of life in America, according to Dreyfus.

It seeks capital growth, with immediate income as a secondary goal.

Dreyfus, with mutual fund assets of $120 billion, is now the second-biggest fund manager among U.S. banking companies, after Citigroup Inc., according to Lipper Inc. of Summit, N.J.

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