Mutual fund companies should take note of 401(k) plan sponsors' growing interest in co-mingled funds, a defined contribution alternative to mutual funds that offers lower fees, according to industry executives and consultants.

Co-mingled funds are products offered by investment companies that bridge the gap between separately-managed accounts and retail funds. Each co-mingled fund is usually only offered to three to ten corporations, each of which has enough employees to contribute $20 million or more at the outset to the fund.

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