Safeco Corp. has $3.8 billion under management in mutual funds, although almost none of its sales came through the bank channel.

"Companies that sell mutual funds along with other products are much more likely to have a longer-term relationship with their customers," said Al Close, a senior vice president for Safeco Life and Investments Marketing. "Frankly, I'm greedy. This is a retention story, and I want more than the fixed part of the pie."

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