American Express Financial Corp. is not done beefing up its mutual fund product line. Last year, the firm launched six sub-advised funds under the newly created AXP Partners brand, an internally managed fund, a donor-advised fund, and a 529 partnership. It filed late last year for three additional internally managed funds and two sub-advised funds that it plans to launch in February and March of this year. Still, the firm is planning to create between two and four additional sub-advised funds and an undetermined amount of internally managed funds that are expected to launch in the second half of 2002. More are expected in 2003, said Paul Johnson, a spokesman for American Express Funds.
The sudden spate of activity began last year after the firm conducted a review of its product line, Johnson said. Executives found that the percentage of proprietary funds that AmEx's own financial advisers were selling had dropped. They concluded the firm would need to include more funds throughout the nine style boxes with clear differentiation between products, Johnson said. Currently, about 45% of the funds sold by AmEx financial advisers are AmEx funds.