GE Asset Management has given up on efforts to sell its line up of 21 retail funds no-load resulting from weak direct sales. In June, the firm stopped selling directly to investors on its Web site and through Charles Schwabs no-load fund supermarket, according to Tim Benedict, a company spokesman.
"It was a strategy we wanted to try, but based on the limited appetite for this type of access, we didnt see a reason to continue distributing them in this manner," he said.
The funds will still be available through the firms network of advisors, which includes Paine Webber, AG Edwards, and Chase Securities. The funds will also be available through Schwabs institutional fund supermarket, Benedict said.
In February 2000, the firm announced it would begin selling its funds directly to retail investors through the GE Financial Network, the companys Web site dedicated to direct sales.
Although GE contacted its distributors to inform them of its plans to sell funds direct, the move raised some concerns among advisors, Benedict said. (See MFMN 8/28/2000). Those concerns centered on whether customers would want to buy a more expensive version of a fund from an advisor when they could just as easily purchase a no-load version online, he said at the time.
GE Financial has $2.4 billion in retail assets and $119 billion in institutional assets, Benedict said.