Magazine article American Banker

After Misfire, Exec Takes Hub and Spoke Plan to Boston's Standish Ayer

Magazine article American Banker

After Misfire, Exec Takes Hub and Spoke Plan to Boston's Standish Ayer

Article excerpt

William Kearns' attempt to market Eaton Vance Corp.'s mutual funds through a "hub and spoke" structure flopped. But the marketing veteran is trying again at a different company.

Mr. Kearns has signed on with Boston-based Standish, Ayer & Wood Inc., a less-known institutional money manager. At Standish, he said he wants to use the hub and spoke structure to sell mutual funds through banks, insurance companies, and financial planners.

Under that structure, fund companies manage a central pool of assets, a hub, and generate fees from fund families of financial intermediaries, the spokes, which market the central pool under their own names.

Mr. Kearns tried the structure during his tenure at Eaton Vance, which was among the first fund companies to market it to banks. But the effort didn't pay off, largely because of the specialized nature of Eaton's portfolios. Most of its funds invest in municipal bonds, and banks already manage plenty of those.

But Mr. Kearns is confident that his new employer will fare better.

"We're offering products that were not available at Eaton Vance," the marketing and sales vice president said. "Banks without exception are looking for equity funds. We can supply them with those."

Standish, which manages $27 billion of corporate pension plans, is trying to expand its distribution to retail investors. It currently manages $4 billion of assets in 17 mutual funds.

As part of the hub and spoke program, the company, which is best known for fixed-income funds, is offering a Standish Global Fixed Income Fund and Standish Fixed Income Fund. …

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