Mutual fund powerhouse Franklin Resources Inc. is planning an asset- allocation service that will be pitched to banking clients, an industry source said.

The San Mateo, Calif., company, which manages $105.2 billion of assets, intends to file its plan with the Securities and Exchange Commission next week, with an eye toward launching the service early next year, the source said.

Franklin is asking the SEC for permission to create "Z" shares for 25 existing portfolios. Investors in the new class of shares would pay a percentage of assets under management rather than up-front sales fees.

Asset-allocation portfolios would include Franklin's bond funds; stock funds of Heine Securities, which it acquired this summer; and international portfolios of Franklin's Templeton Funds subsidiary.

Many fund companies offer such programs to the wealthy, but Franklin hopes to reach the mass market, including retail bank clients. "It's an easy story for bank brokers who deal with lower tickets," the source said.

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