Two companies have joined to offer a mutual fund investment advisory service to banks.
SelectChoice, a two-and-a-half-year-old program run by Gateway Asset Management Co. of New Canaan, Conn., will now be marketed by Lynch, Jones & Ryan, a New York brokerage firm.
SelectChoice is designed to help bank customers allocate their money among no-load mutual fund companies on the basis of investment objectives. Banks use a questionnaire to help each customer pick one of six portfolios of funds. The customer also decides how to allocate his or her money among the funds in the portfolio chosen.
Each quarter banks receive reports on the performance of the portfolios and the funds in them, as well as recommendations about what to buy or get out of. The bank investment representatives then share the information with clients.
Banks are the brokers in this program. Participating banks must have contracts with the fund companies, which include Fidelity Investments, Putnam Investments, and Vanguard.
The program lets banks "compete more effectively with national providers (of asset allocation programs) such as Charles Schwab and Merrill Lynch," said Howard Schwartz, chief executive of Lynch Jones.
The most likely banks to sign up for the program are those without proprietary mutual funds, because they are more likely to have relationships with outside fund companies, said Jack Bonne, president of Gateway.
Gateway is a four-year-old company whose principal business is investing in stocks and bonds.
The SelectChoice program has one client, Southington (Conn.) Savings Bank, said Mr. Bonne.
Lynch Jones is a brokerage firm specializing in institutional trading and research.