Magazine article American Banker

Keycorp Turning to Putnam to Create Variable Annuities

Magazine article American Banker

Keycorp Turning to Putnam to Create Variable Annuities

Article excerpt

Keycorp is teaming with Putnam Financial Services to create a family of variable annuities, said the Cleveland banking company's top mutual fund executive.

Under the arrangement with the Boston-based mutual fund company, Keycorp will offer nine variable annuities under its own label, said W. Christopher Maxwell, chief executive of Keycorp's mutual funds group.

Four of the portfolios will invest in Putnam mutual funds, while the other five will invest in the Victory funds, which Keycorp manages. The annuities should be unveiled this fall, Mr. Maxwell added.

The arrangement is a twist on an increasingly popular strategy. In the past 18 months, a dozen major banks have introduced variable annuities as an extension of their proprietary mutual funds, or have announced plans to do so. Just last week,-Chase Manhattan Corp. confirmed that it is developing variable annuities investing in its proprietary Vista Funds.

Increasingly Popular

Annullies, which are tax-advantaged insurance products designed to produce retirement income, have a strong following among bank customers.

Fixed annuities are paid from fixed-yield instruments, while the managers of variable annuities generally invest in mutual funds as a way of reaching for higher returns.

Banks see offering annuities linked to proprietary mutual funds as a way to boost fee income from asset management.

By pairing with Putnam, Keycorp has found a way to jump on the variable annuity bandwagon even though it is relatively new to mutual fund management. …

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