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AdvisorCentral Names CEO

AdvisorCentral, a company jointly run by Fidelity, Putnam, Franklin Templeton and PFPC, last week launched its fund Web portal service and named Joseph Grause CEO.

Previously, Grause was president of American General Asset Management, a mutual fund group with $1.8 billion in assets under management. Before joining American General, Grause co-founded Cypress Holding Co. He has also served with Fidelity and First Data Corp.

The portal, AdvisorCentral.Com, provides investment advisers access to mutual fund account information, transaction capabilities, processing and customer service. The portal, built on PFPC's proprietary IMPRESSNet system, will compete with DST's Vision service, which provides similar features.

Currently, there are nearly 50 different mutual fund companies on the portal, including the three sponsors, Pioneer Funds and Eaton Vance. When the initiative was first announced in January however, Kenneth Rathgeber, COO of Fidelity Institutional, said that there would be about 100 fund families on the portal at launch time. Still, the current firms represented by AdvisorCentral account for about 40% of total assets sold through intermediaries, according to the announcement.

Mutual fund firms pay a fee to be a member of the portal, but the service is free to advisers. While the portal is not a marketing tool, it does give firms increased exposure to the adviser distribution channel, said Grause. "Our goal is to be an industry standard product," he said.