With trillions - that's trillions with a T' - of dollars in assets at stake, forward-looking mutual fund companies are honing their marketing efforts and developing improved products to take advantage of the coming boom in IRA rollovers. But in the quest to capture rollover assets from 401(k)s and other qualified retirement plans, the "transfer of assets" process is a weak link for many fund firms. Across the industry, the cumbersome process creates the potential for delays in transfers between custodians, misallocations in new accounts, possible shareholder gain/loss issues and other errors that can undermine customer relationships and hinder business growth.

The problem affects financial advisors and broker/dealers as well as the fund families themselves. Weeks after a transfer of assets request is filed for a client opening a new account, many brokers and advisors have difficulty answering basic questions regarding the status of the transaction. Meanwhile, their clients are frustrated and anxious, when they should be secure in the knowledge that they are receiving sound advice and proper money management.

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