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Rating:Sentinel Plans to Grow its Sales Force Not Rated 4.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, April 05, 2010

Sentinel Plans to Grow its Sales Force

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Somewhere out there, the Green Mountain Boy must be very proud as Sentinel Investments continues to scale new heights.

Jim Cronin
Sentinel Investments Services Company
Montpelier, Vermont-based Sentinel, part of National Life Group, is looking to add to its sales team coming off a record sales year, said Jim Cronin, president of Sentinel Financial Services Company, which distributes the Sentinel Funds.

Mutual fund sales hit a record of $3.9 billion in 2009, up 155 percent from the year before. Sentinel ended 2009 with record AUM of $7.6 billion, up 77 percent from 2008.

Around 50 percent of flows went to the Short Maturity Government and Government Securities funds.

"Last year, we added 4,000 advisors," Cronin added.

And this year, Sentinel is off to a strong start.

"If sales continue at their current rate, sales would be up 20 percent in 2010," said Cronin, an MFS alum who arrived at Sentinel in December 2006 and led its push into third-party distribution.

Sentinel plans to expand defined contribution investment-only team led by Peter Hebert and is also looking to add resources to support RIAs and bank trusts.

The firm has 16 external wholesalers, including two retirement specialists, and 10 internals.

Meanwhile, amid the chatter on the "lost decade" of investing, Sentinel folks have been busy trumpeting the performance of its funds.

Sentinel in early March distributed a pamphlet entitled "Winning by not Losing," in which it displayed ten-year total returns of its funds and highlighted portfolio managers' conservative approach to risk.

Sentinel currently has 13 mutual funds in its lineup. It liquidated the Small/Mid Cap Fund in January. Other recent changes in its product line include the closing of A and C shares of the Small Company Fund to new investors as of January 29 and the renaming of the Mid Cap Growth Fund to Mid Cap Fund effective Tuesday last week. 

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