In a perennial survey that evaluates the quality of fund companies’ distribution services, Dalbar said that financial professionals largely favored American Funds, as well as Hartford Life and Smith Barney Mutual Funds.

The study, now in its 15 th year, evaluates firms on their ability to support fund marketers, broker/dealers and operations managers. Last summer, those executives were asked to rank the fund companies they work with on a scale of 1-4, Dalbar said.

Executives also favored Dimensional Fund Advisors and Vanguard. Firms were also ranked within the distribution channels they serve. American Funds and Hartford Life won favor in the bank channel; American Funds, Security Benefit and Smith Barney Mutual Funds were favored by those working at independent firms. American Funds was also applauded among regional broker/dealers, wire houses and insurance representatives.

Some 4,140 advisers participated in the survey, Dalbar said.

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