Oregon, Minnesota, Kansas, Florida - these have always been mutual fund companies' middle-America domains when it comes to cost-effective call centers.

But with the overall cost of a service center representative easily topping $45,000 a year, call volumes way down amid a depressed market, margins thinning, layoffs putting many call centers at half capacity and investors asking tough questions - some fund companies are joining other leading American corporations in some truly out-of-the-box thinking. They're moving their back offices and call centers overseas.

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