State Street Corp. is the newest dish being served up at a Web site for investment management professionals dubbed Mutual Fund Cafe.
Starting today, the Boston banking company will contribute a page called World's Fare to the site. The page, which will describe trends and the structure of the mutual fund business in different countries, will be launched with information about the Netherlands.
Mutual Fund Cafe-www.mfcafe.com-bills itself as the place "where the mutual fund community gathers on-line." Its target audience: people who work in the money management business, such as advisers to institutional investors.
In addition to State Street bankers, contributors to Mutual Fund Cafe include consultants, lawyers, accountants, researchers, and investment bankers.
"It's a way of utilizing information that is already being used in the industry but is not generally accessible to the public," said Dan Ross, chief editorial officer of Wechsler & Partners Inc., a New York design firm that set up the site last year.
Another newcomer is Dechert Price & Rhoads, a Hartford, Conn.-based law firm. Jane A. Kanter, who recently joined the firm, acts as a "proprietor" of the site. She contributes updates on legal matters affecting mutual funds, such as simplified prospectuses.
The Web site's charter sponsors are Wechsler; market researchers DeRemer & Associates; Financial Research Corp.; Mathew Greenwald & Associates; the investment bank Putnam, Lovell & Thornton; and the accounting firm Ernst & Young. They share the expenses of the site, which does not accept advertising.
Mr. Ross, a principal of Wechsler, declined to say how many people visit the site.
To keep people coming back, he said, features such as World's Fare and Top Bananas were added. The latter is a series of interviews with high- ranking executives of mutual fund companies. The first Q&A is with Ted Bauer, the vice chairman of Amvescap, the result of the merger between Aim and Invesco.
Like other Web sites, Mutual Fund Cafe sometimes attracts an unintended audience. For instance, the investment banking firm that supplies its research reports on investment company mergers and acquisitions has gained an audience of MBA students. A doctoral candidate looking for help on papers has also visited the site.
"I wouldn't say it's our primary source of getting clients, because that is not the nature of M&A," said Steven C. Pierson, an associate of Putnam Lovell.
His firm posts summaries of research reports first. After its paying clients receive their copies, the full reports go on-line.
Mr. Pierson said that in addition to receiving occasional E-mails and phone calls, the New York-based firm gets feedback in person.
"We will go in on sales and marketing calls and people say they like the Mutual Fund Cafe," Mr. Pierson said. "It's a low-cost way to get your name out there."