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Monday, June 03, 2002

OUT OF BOX
Quant Builds New Business Line

by: Tony Pennino

Recently on these e-pages, we have discussed a great deal how mutual fund firms can best weather these turbulent economic times. New and innovative thinking seems to be the best means to those ends. Last week, the MutualFundWire.com carried a story on Vision Funds and how that firm was targeting church groups and local clubs as potential clients. Now, we take a look at Quant Funds and how that firm is offering services to its own competition.

Quant Funds, and its parent Quantitative Advisors, is now in the data extracting and hosting service business, Heather Dondis, direct of marketing at the firm, told the MutualFundWire.com. Quant is targeting small and mid-sized mutual fund firms for this service.

"We went live with Parnassus in November," Dondis reported. "Since then, we are talking to between five and ten other mutual fund firms about signing on for the service." Quant offers web hosting and data storage systems for its clients.

"We initially created this system for our own in-house use. We have a broker/dealer working right here with us. And we initially set this up for our own communications. Now, it is something that other firms want to take advantage of," she continued.

"We feel that we have a special advantage in offering this service. Most other similar firms are tech firms. Their understanding comes as computer designers and engineers. We are a mutual fund firm ourselves. We share a language and basic experiences with our potential clients. We understand what a mutual fund firm goes through," the executive contended.

Dondis believes that the Quantitative Advisors system is competitive on costs. "We feel that we can save our clients a great deal of money. We believe that we can offer these services up to 30 to 40 percent less than anyone else. That is important in a time when asset outflows are unfortunately more often greater than inflows," she stressed.

Dondis noted that there is an up front cost for hardware then a monthly service fee based predominantly on the number of the accounts. She also stated that any potential customer would not need to convert from their transfer agent as the firm works with many different transfer agent systems.

Information about the firm's services to other mutual fund companies can be found at this website

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