The broker/dealer distribution channel has become increasingly competitive among mutual fund firms, driving the need and importance for fund wholesalers, according to a new report published by Cerulli Associates of Boston.

In 1990, there were 34 mutual fund companies competing within the broker/dealer distribution channel. That number has jumped to 150 firms, according to the Cerulli study. In terms of distribution, broker/dealer firms account for 44% of all mutual fund assets. The direct market channel accounts for 29% of assets, but is a shrinking segment as investors look to platforms that offer advice and guidance, according to Cerulli.

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