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American Express, FleetBoston Agree to Joint Distribution Plan

American Express Financial Corporation of Minneapolis, Minn. is jointly developing and distributing mutual funds and annuity products with FleetBostion Financial of Boston as part of a strategic alliance between the two firms, American Express has announced.

The American Express Galaxy Premier Variable Annuity and the Preferred Gold Fixed Annuity, will be sold through FleetBoston's network of 1,000 retail financial consultants. American Express Financial advisors, in turn, will sell FleetBoston's Galaxy and Columbia mutual funds, according to American Express. The firms will begin selling the products Nov. 1.

The alliance will allow both companies to better serve their customers by providing a wider range of investment options, according to American Express. The Galaxy Premier VA includes six FleetBoston Galaxy funds as well as 10 American Express funds and funds from eight other fund families including Janus, Fidelity, Putnam and MFS, according to Randy Gabrielson, senior vice president for insurance and strategic alliances at American Express.