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Deutsche Bank Consolidating U.S. Funds

In the wake of its acquisition of Bankers Trust Corp. of New York in June, Deutsche Bank of Frankfurt, Germany, is taking steps to merge its U.S. fund operations.

Deutsche Bank gained $71.5 billion in assets under management from Bankers Trust and BT Alex. Brown of Baltimore in the deal. Combined with the assets of money manager Morgan Grenfell of New York and the Deutsche Funds of Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank now manages roughly $97 billion in assets in the U.S., $40 billion of which is in mutual funds, according to company figures.

Deutsche Bank is consolidating these various U.S. organizations under the Deutsche Asset Management name. Already, the sales and marketing operations have been combined, and a consolidation of these money management operations is following.

Bankers Trust has filed a preliminary proxy statement with the SEC, asking shareholders to approve a new advisory agreement for the BT Investment Funds. The new agreement would make Deutsche Bank subsidiary Morgan Grenfell Inc. (MGI) the adviser to the 14 BT Investment Funds within two years.

A special shareholder meeting to decide the matter is to be held Oct. 8 at the offices of BT Alex. Brown. The funds are currently being managed by Bankers Trust.

Shareholders are also being asked to approve a new subadviser agreement that would allow Bankers Trust or Morgan Grenfell Investment Services of London, another subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, to act as subadviser to the funds.

The new advisory agreements will "simplify the organizational structure of (Deutsche Bank's) U.S. mutual fund operations, enhance the efficiency of their administration and promote consistency of internal controls, compliance and regulatory oversight," according to documents filed with the SEC.

The same documents note that "most of the personnel of Bakers Trust who provided services under the prior management agreements will be employed by MGI."

The documents said that the change would give Deutsche Bank enough time to "plan, prepare and institute" the consolidation of all of its U.S. fund operations.

Also, Bankers Trust is asking shareholders in the $3.3 million BT Global Emerging Markets Equity Fund for approval of that fund's merger with the $133.7 million Morgan Grenfell Emerging Markets Equity Fund, which has a similar investment style. A shareholder meeting is scheduled for Sept. 29 in Baltimore.

The U.S. operations of Deutsche Asset Management are being lead by Rich Marin, who previously headed Global Private Banking for Bankers Trust. Josh Weinreich, the former chief investment officer for Bankers Trust Private Bank, has been named chief investment officer and deputy head of Deutsche Asset Management. Christopher Thorsheim, the former head of U.S. institutional sales at Morgan Grenfell, will head institutional marketing.