To crack the mutual fund market in Europe, you need to be a bank robber, of sorts.

For years, the consumer market for mutual funds in Europe has been jealously guarded by its banks, which continue to dominate fund sales. In Germany, for example, 80 to 85 percent of all mutual fund sales are conducted through banks. And, the top 10 promoters of funds in Europe - which are mostly banks - control 90 percent of the market. By comparison, the top 10 mutual fund companies in the United States control only about 50 percent of mutual fund assets, according to Douglas Adams, director of administrative operations in Edinborough, Scotland for Templeton Funds.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.