Union Bank has been doing a brisk business in unit investment trusts.
The San Francisco-based bank began selling its proprietary unit investments Jan. 15 and has so far racked up $2 million in sales, according to R. Gregory Knopf, managing director for Union Bank's Stepstone Funds.
"It's a bridge product for someone who wants to be in the market, but wants to do so conservatively," Mr. Knopf said.
The unit investment comprises equal measures of zero-coupon Treasury bonds and the proprietary Stepstone Growth Equity fund. It is underwritten by Van Kampen-American Capital, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
The bond component of the unit investment trust covers the return of principal to investors who hold onto the investment for 12 years. Any gains from the mutual fund component furnishes a performance bonus.
A Union Bank executive said the unit investment appeals to many bank customers saving for retirement.
Union Bank's initial offering is limited to $5 million of unit investments, but Mr. Knopf said the bank is considering offering a second series, if customer demand and the stock market remain strong.