To expand its distribution network, Union Bank of California has set up a division to attract financial planners to its mutual funds.

Union Bank chose to target financial planners because they are one of the fastest-growing distribution channels for investment products and services, said R. Gregory Knopf, managing director for mutual funds at Unionbancal Corp., the parent of Union Bank. The new unit, Highmark Advisor Services, push the Highmark family of mutual funds, which have $9 billion of assets under management in 14 portfolios.

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