Van Eck Securities Corp. said Friday that it will market four of its seven mutual funds through banks.

The New York company, which specializes in precious-metals and fixes-income funds, has $1.2 billion of assets under management.

In seeking out banks to distribute its products, Van Eck is following many other mutual fund companies. Fund officials are eager to capture investments from consumers worried about the low rates being paid on traditional deposit products.

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"There's obviously been some dynamic growth," said Keith Fletcher, Van Eck's senior vice president in charge of institutional sales and marketing.

Mr. Fletcher was hired three months ago from Fidelity Investments, where he was vice president of marketing for retail sales.

To woo regional and large commercial banks, Van Eck is restructuring four funds -- including its World Income Fund and its new Short-Term World Income Fund -- into "hub-and-spoke" structures.

These allow banks to market the funds under their own names and then funnel the money into a central hub, or pool fund of assets, managed by Van Eck. Banks receive either a sales fee or an administration fee, while Van Eck gets the management fee.

Mr. Fletcher said one money-center bank and several smaller companies with midsize trust departments are poised to sign as distributors in August. He did not name the companies.

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