Quant Funds of Lincoln, Mass. on May 1 became the second mutual fund company in the industry to allow investors to open accounts online, without paper applications or handwritten or digital signatures.

Quant's introduction of online accounts comes seven months after Invesco Funds of Denver became the first to do so (MFMN 9/6/99). The rest of the industry has delayed in offering this service, fearing fraud and potential contractual problems with shareholders over the lack of signatures on file, said Geoffrey Bobroff, president of Bobroff Consulting, a mutual fund consulting firm of East Greenwich, R.I.

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