NEW YORK - Fund companies need to develop an online strategy to help financial intermediaries use the web as a tool to service their clients and develop closer relationships with them in addition to using the traditional methods of fund distribution, according to industry executives. The executives spoke at a conference here last week on electronic distribution and marketing for mutual funds sponsored by the Institute for International Research of New York.

The financial service firms that are successfully offering products and services online are using a variety of methods to distribute their products, said Charles Roame, the managing principal of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, a market research and consulting agency in Tiburon, Calif.

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