Bank of Montreal's acquisition last week of the North American operations of online broker CSFBdirect is part of an effort to ramp up the Canadian bank's U.S. mutual fund sales, the company said last week.

Currently, Bank of Montreal offers 21 proprietary mutual funds in the U.S. through its U.S. subsidiary, Harris Investor Line, a full-service broker that oversees US$18 billion in assets. Those funds are distributed through broker/dealers and financial advisers. The Harris unit also acts as a supermarket, offering some 5,000 non-proprietary funds.

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