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Bad Mutual Fund Press Helps Lockwood

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NU Online News Service, Nov. 25, 2003,11:58 a.m. EST – Lockwood Advisors Inc. made a lucky move in May, when it began selling a comprehensive set of wealth advisory services to independent advisors.[@@]

Originally, the Malvern, Pa.-based subsidiary of The Bank of New York Company Inc., New York, sold separately managed account services to advisors.

The company’s new products include a family of registered hedge funds, a mortgage origination service, a passive municipal fixed-income product, a mutual fund wrap program, an overlay separate account program and, most recently, a mutual fund access program.

The fund access program, announced Nov. 4, is the last money management service that Lockwood will be adding to its wealth advisory product menu, the company says.

Lockwood President Chris Tomecek says advisors liked the new services right from the beginning. But advisors’ curiosity has been growing since articles about problems in the mutual fund industry began to appear, Tomecek reports.

“We happen to be the beneficiaries of the negative press,” Tomecek says. “It’s a ?right place, right time’ sort of thing. There are those who thought about it before. Now they have the impetus to move people over.”

Investors who no longer feel comfortable keeping their money in mutual funds like the idea that they can own the securities in a separately managed account, Tomecek says.

“With separate accounts, the investor has complete transparency over what’s going on,” Tomecek says. “That’s gone a long way lately. We’ve seen a dramatic pick up in interest levels with existing advisors, and a lot of new advisors whose clients want to know what’s going on.”