A mutual fund that invests in community bank stocks signed up Synovus Financial Corp.'s retail brokerage in its 24th sales agreement.

Banc Stock Group, Columbus, Ohio, said Thursday that its seven-month-old Banc Stock Group Fund, which invests in 111 community banks, will be sold by Columbus, Ga.-based Synovus Securities.

The brokerage joins several others that sell the fund, including Advest Group, A.G. Edwards & Sons, Bear Sterns, and Raymond James Associates Inc. The fund has $13.5 million under management for at least 1,000 shareholders.

The deal extends Banc Stock Group's relationship with Synovus beyond selling research to the brokerage.

"We're tickled they decided to put us under their umbrella," said Michael E. Guirlinger, president of Banc Stock Group. "They have many, many fine investors."

Compiled by Katharine Fraser

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