Magazine article American Banker

Marketers Take Steps to Calm Shaken Investors

Magazine article American Banker

Marketers Take Steps to Calm Shaken Investors

Article excerpt

Mutual funds' recent swoon has investment product marketing companies scrambling to help investors -- and banks -- through tehir first brush with a bear market.

Faced with some scary events in the stock and bond markets, these companies, which help banks set up and manage investment sales programs, have been mobilizing client outreach campaigns.

The aim is to make sure client banks know how to deal with nervous customers. The message of the campaigns is that the value of long-term investments can go down as well as up.

'Hand-Holding' Sessions

One of the top investment products sales companies, Marketing One of Portland, Ore., plans a series of conference calls with bank managers this week to engage in some "hand-holding," said James Truax, senior vice president.

Another big player, Wall Street Investor Services, is contacting its client banks by letter.

"There is some uncertainty out there," said Eric Alexander, executive vice president at the New York firm.

No Selling Frenzy

The company has heard from at least one banker who said his customers were perplexed by the way the bond market is acting.

But Mr. Alexander and his counterparts at other firms say their moves are chiefly proactive. Though the market's drop has not produced a slew of sell orders, banks and their customers could use some additional support right now, Mr. Alexander said.

Banks that have never before operated investment product programs during a market downturn are seen as particularly vulnerable to developing a case of the jitters. …

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