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Rating:MutualFunds.com Readies Fall Launch Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, July 17, 2000

MutualFunds.com Readies Fall Launch

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

MutualFunds.com continues to prepare for a Fall launch of its Web site. In its latest move it has tapped a head of sales from Funds Distributors. The Boston-based startup is also in the process of selecting an advertising agency.

Abe Gorelick, senior vice president of marketing, told the MutualFundWire.com that the startup is seeking an agency that can handle both traditional to online advertising efforts as it seeks to build a brand at both the retail and institutional ends of the fund business.

"We have a real opportunity to establish a brand due to our URL," said Gorelick. He added that the firm is targeting a fall launch for its site.

The self-described portal for the fund industry is headed by former Nvest President and CEO Bruce Speca. Speca, Nvest, W.R. Hambrecht, TIS Worldwide and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are among the angel investors in the site which is currently seeking its first round of funding.

Gorelick declined to reveal the size of the seed round of funding but did confirm that the firm is currently making presentations for its Series "A" round of funding.

The newest employee at the 18-employee firm is Donald Roberson who become the head sales with the title of senior vice president. Roberson, who joined the firm from Funds Distributors two-weeks ago will report directly to Speca. Roberson was director of sales and marketing at his former employer. Officials at Funds Distributors were unavailable for comment.

Roberson also worked as vice president of sales and marketing at Blackrock Financial Group were he helped develop the firm's open-end fund business. Prior to that he held various management and sales positions with Reich & Tang, Inc. and Prudential-Bache Securities, Inc. He received his BS in Marketing from Florida State University.

He is currently in the process of interviewing candidates for his sales team, said Gorelick, who declined to say how many sales positions are being filled.

The sales team will push the site's product and service offerings, including an online university for continuing education and certification targeted at advisors and financial services reps.

The site will also feature analytic tools for advisors, said Gorelick. One feature will be a data aggregation across fund families, he said. "This will not be screen scraping," he said. "All information will be direct, real information in real-time from the fund company." The service will also allow allow transactions and provide prospectuses, he said.

The firm is currently "in the process" of signing up fund companies to take part in this service that will enable investors and advisors to see their fund holdings in one place.  

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