Magazine article American Banker

Northern Trust Making Fund Supermarket Push, Planning New Products

Magazine article American Banker

Northern Trust Making Fund Supermarket Push, Planning New Products

Article excerpt

Northern Trust Corp. of Chicago is taking steps to boost distribution of its retail and institutional mutual funds.

Last week the company, which caters to high-net-worth and institutional clients, said it would offer five of its no-load Northern Funds through Charles Schwab & Co.'s Mutual Fund OneSource on-line supermarket.

But it is not stopping there. It has also hired an internal marketing team to work on a print advertising campaign and is planning to add several new funds.

"We're trying to make sure that we don't miss out on anything," said Lloyd Wennlund, senior vice president of the company's principal bank unit, Northern Trust Co.

The company already had an agreement to sell its funds through the Jack White & Co. fund supermarket, which is now part of Toronto-Dominion Bank's discount brokerage division, T.D. Waterhouse. But Northern Trust has not pursued the fund supermarket sales aggressively until now, Mr. Wennlund said.

Fund supermarkets typically carry thousands of funds from different providers; many of those funds are made available to registered investment advisers and retail investors without a transaction fee. Northern Trust is negotiating with other supermarkets, including those run by Fidelity Investments and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette's Pershing division, Mr. Wennlund said.

Dennis Gallant, a consultant with Cerulli Associates of Boston, expressed doubts about Northern Trust's initiative. It is hard to push no-load fund in the current market, in which investors are seeking more advice, he said.

But Mr. Wennlund said Northern Trust is not necessarily trying to make its no-load funds a "household name." Instead, he said, it is looking to advance in select markets, including registered investment advisers.

Consultant Louis Harvey said he found that "surprising." Investment advisers typically deal with individuals with $100,000 to $150,000 in their portfolios, while Northern Trust's clients usually have several times that, said Mr. …

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