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Marketing Chief Defines Deutsche's Task


William E. Grau became head of marketing for Deutsche Asset Management's retail and mutual fund groups early last month. Grau formerly was marketing director for the retail fund and private and institutional banking businesses of Chase Manhattan Bank of New York. Grau recently discussed Deutsche Asset Management's efforts to establish its brand name in the U.S. mutual fund market with Mutual Fund Market News reporter Andrew Greene. An edited account of their conversation follows.

MFMN: Tell us a little bit about your experience with Chase Manhattan Bank.

Grau: I worked for Chase Manhattan for eight years and I was a marketing director for three of its asset management businesses. The first was their retail mutual funds business, the second their private banking business that included an emphasis on asset management and the third was their institutional business. I think that background includes a lot of what Deutsche is trying to do in terms of selling mutual funds through various intermediaries and institutions, and my background will serve me very well. At Chase we sold our funds through brokers, registered representatives, financial advisors and trust banks. Those are very important marketing channels for us at Deutsche and play very well to the strengths that it has in terms of institutional style and method of investing.

MFMN: How do you plan to use what you learned at Chase to help you at Deutsche?

Grau: I think there's the understanding that different distributors need different materials. I think that will be very helpful to me in the funds business with the direct retail investor all the way up to the huge institutional investor or the high-net-worth investor through private banking.

MFMN: What distribution channel will you be marketing to?

Grau: We really sell our funds primarily through financial intermediaries and institutions.

MFMN: How are you trying to develop distribution through intermediaries and who are you working through?

Grau: Our distributors are primarily financial advisors, defined contribution plans and trust banks. Part of our marketing strategy is developing brand awareness with advertising campaigns but we're also going to improve our communications efforts to distributors, including getting out new information about the family of funds and the name changes and performance information on some of the funds.

We are also having a road show and we're teaming up with our institutional colleagues. We'll be going around the country for two weeks in May [May 9-19] starting in New York and we'll be going to Philly, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston and Atlanta. We'll be talking about our consolidated capabilities. We've invited marketing representatives, financial advisers and intermediaries to participate as well as a lot of our institutional clients and prospects.

MFMN: Are you interested in offering your products to wirehouses or any other intermediary channels?

Grau: Absolutely. Some of our funds are available through Schwab and Fidelity's supermarkets.

MFMN: I know Deutsche Asset Management offered a lot of money market funds but has added funds through acquisitions. What kind of funds does Deutsche currently offer?

Grau: We have a full range of funds. In terms of investment style, we have actively managed funds, quantitative and index funds. That is definitely an extension of what we had at Chase. At Chase it was really active. We do sell money market funds but I think the other three are very important to us and the range of funds spans the spectrum of risk-return. We have equity, domestic and international equity, domestic and global fixed-income, specialty index funds and quant type funds.

MFMN: What are some areas of possible product development and with what areas in your product line do you feel satisfied?

Grau: One of the great things about the consolidation was that the two companies that came together, Bankers Trust and Morgan Grenfell, had product ranges that fit very well together. In particular, Banker's Trust mutual funds were very well known for active international equity as well as the index and the quant strategies. The Morgan Grenfell funds were much better known for the fixed-income and the active U.S. equity and active international equity. So, when you put those together, that does give us a really broad range.

MFMN: How do you plan to increase assets in your funds?