Magazine article American Banker

KeyCorp to Expand and Push Its No-Load Offerings

Magazine article American Banker

KeyCorp to Expand and Push Its No-Load Offerings

Article excerpt

To attract investors who want mutual funds without sales charges, KeyCorp is expanding its line of no-load funds and is planning a big marketing push for them.

The Cleveland-based banking company is set to roll out two no-load mutual fund offerings this week, said W. Christopher Maxwell, the executive vice president who heads the mutual fund unit. Overall, the bank said it plans to increase its no-load mutual fund offerings from four portfolios to nine this year.

The new funds will not charge investors up-front or bank-end sales charges, also known as loads.

"There is a large market segment out there that prefers to make their own decisions on what funds to buy, and we see a great opportunity to market no- load funds to them," Mr. Maxwell said in a telephone interview last week.

KeyCorp is the latest regional bank to jump on the no-load bandwagon. NationsBank Corp. and Barnett Banks Inc. began offering their proprietary funds without sales loads earlier this year. More than 40% of mutual funds sold in the U.S. are no-loads, according to the Investment Company Institute.

The new funds will be part of the KeyFunds, a small $250 million-asset fund family acquired when KeyCorp bought the investment management firm Spears Benzak Salomon & Farrell Inc. late last year. The funds will be marketed directly to customers, and will not compete directly with KeyCorp's proprietary Victory Funds, Mr. Maxwell said. Funds in that $6.8 billion-asset fund family are sold primarily through brokers who charge a sales fee for advice. …

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