Even though direct marketing dominates mutual fund distribution channels, direct marketers are increasingly embracing tie-ins with intermediaries, Kurt Cerulli, principal of Cerulli Associates, told a conference sponsored by the Practising Law Institute in New York recently. Cerulli is a mutual fund research and consulting firm based in Boston.

Direct marketing accounts for 39 percent, the largest single share, of mutual fund distribution, Cerulli said. Wholesaling through a fund supermarket or wirehouse is next, at 34 percent; proprietary sales through money managers, financial planners and independent broker/dealers comprise 15 percent; and institutional sales through banks and insurance companies comprise 12 percent, he said.

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