Magazine article American Banker

Chase Getting Set to Drop GNA as In-Branch Mutual Funds Marketer

Magazine article American Banker

Chase Getting Set to Drop GNA as In-Branch Mutual Funds Marketer

Article excerpt

Chase Manhattan Corp. is preparing to replace its retail investments marketing partner, GNA Corp., with another vendor, industry sources say.

The New York banking company plans to unveil its new arrangements within a few weeks, according to sources who have seen a letter circulated last week to 140 GNA brokers who work in Chase branches.

Brokers at the bank are telling callers who inquire about GNA's status that customers will soon be notified of changes in the program, and that their purchases will not be affected.

Essex Corp., Independent Financial Marketing Group, and James Mitchell & Co. are among the investment-marketing companies vying for the Chase contract, according to individuals involved in the negotiations.

Chase officials declined to discuss the matter, saying in a Statement only that the banking company "continues to seek new growth opportunities."

A spokeswoman for GNA, a Seattle-based unit of General Electric Capital Corp., said, "we have a positive outlook on the continued relationship with Chase, although the nature of it may change."

GNA has run Chase's program, which covers 350 branches, for the last four years. In 1993, sales of mutual funds and annuities totaled about $1 billion, making it one of a handful of bank programs to reach that mark.

While many observers consider the program a great success, rumors have been flying since late last year that Chase was thinking about dropping GNA.

Initially, the speculation was that Chase wanted to take the sales program in house. …

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