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Fund industry has new search engine website


Pamela Lariviere thinks she is onto something big. She and several partners have created a new mutual fund website and search engine that she believes will give fund industry executives one convenient place to go on the Internet for mutual fund information.

The site, which has been operating since Dec. 10 , is called Mutualfundsnet.com, and one of its most intriguing features may turn out to be its job posting service. Lariviere hopes that her experience with the job market - she is a principal in a Richford, Vt. executive search business specializing in the financial services industry - will make the site especially attractive to fund companies seeking people with experience in the industry. The job posting service is now free, but after January, there will be a charge.

The site also has a search engine which will be of value both to fund executives and to the general public, Lariviere says.

The site contains a large database of fund company and product information and links to company websites. Besides the job postings, the site includes sections on news and regulatory information, a message board, free e-mail, travel, weather and fund performance information.

Mutualfundsnet.com will make its money from revenue generated from the job postings and online advertising. In order to keep the site focused on the mutual fund industry, Lariviere plans to require that all advertising be mutual fund-related.

Lariviere's web-development company is called Netcom Search and is based in Burlington, Vt. Lariviere is vice president.

The company has also developed a similar site and search engine for the variable annuity industry called Annuitiesnet.com. That site went online shortly before the mutual fund site.

Lariviere said she and her partners dreamed up the idea for the two sites about a year ago, and she along with Web developers and DGL Consultants, the executive search company, created the site.

Lariviere hopes to attract 600,000 users to the site each month. Judging from the initial response, she says the goal is within reach. The site is not yet listed on any major search engines.

A marketing campaign to promote the site includes mailings of post cards and mousepads to people in the fund industry. Lariviere also says that word of mouth will play an important part in the site's success because that is the way the fund industry operates.

Several other websites now offer a lot of information about mutual fund companies, products and trends, and most personal finance sites have a great deal of mutual fund information, so there is plenty of competition already for a new mutual fund site.

Although many insurance and fund companies that offer variable annuities have websites, there is not as much third-party information about the variable annuity industry on the Web. Lariviere believes that Annuitiesnet.com will be able to fill a large gap.

"On the annuities side, my god, people are dying on the vine," thirsting for information, she said.

Internet version of 401(k) software released

Mutual fund tracking service CDA/Wiesenberger has released an Internet version of its Architec software, a 401(k) tool which financial institutions can label as their own to provide to defined contribution plan sponsors and participants. The Architec online software provides account access, fund performance, investment education and portfolio planning advice to plan participants.

Invesco redesigns its website

Invesco Funds Group has a new website at www.invesco.com. The redesign makes it easier to move around the site, and design changes correspond to Invesco's new branding campaign introduced this year. Later this month, Invesco plans to add its Advisor Center, which will provide investment professionals with listings of Invesco products and services available to them and access to their clients' accounts.