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INVESCO Delays Date for Transition to Load

INVESCO Funds Group has pushed back the date when it will begin selling its formerly no-load products through financial advisers, according to Laura Parsons, a spokeswoman for INVESCO. In late November 2001, the firm announced it would make the substantial transition beginning March 1, 2002. The new target date is April 1, 2002.

The reason for the delay is that INVESCO's mutual fund business partners have asked the firm for more time, Parsons said. INVESCO would not disclose who those partners are or any further details about the delay. In fact, it's unlikely that the firm will make any formal announcement about it at all, Parsons said.

"It really just affects the broker community," she said.

INVESCO's transition to the adviser channel is a response to the growing trend toward investors seeking advice and investing through intermediaries, however the firm had been implementing an intermediary sales strategy for some time before the announcement.

"For some time now, the fastest growing segment of our business has been the broker-adviser channel, with virtually all of our new net flows coming from financial advisers," said Ray Cunningham, president of INVESCO.

In 2000, the firm began offering C shares, which carry a 100-basis-point 12b-1 fee generally used to compensate intermediaries on an annual or quarterly basis. Then last year INVESCO began offering K shares, which are geared toward retirement plans and are often sold through intermediaries as well. The shares carry a 12b-1 fee of 45 basis points.

INVESCO's announcement is the final phase of a plan that began in 1998, Parsons said. That year, the firm began developing a wholesaling staff and now has a team of 75 .