Aim Investment Management’s decision to fold its bank wholesaler division into its brokerage sales force has nearly ended the era of dedicated bank wholesalers in the mutual fund industry, but industry officials say that dedicated bank salespeople remain important to insurance companies.

Houston-based Aim folded its bank wholesaling division, which had existed since 1993, into a new wholesaling unit on Jan. 1 that calls upon both banks and brokerages, said Gene Needles, the unit’s head. The move’s purpose was to trim overlaps, which sometimes occurred when two wholesalers would call on a bank and its subsidiary brokerage, Needles said.

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