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Chase, Investia Team for European Online Investor Service

Chase Manhattan Bank's Global Investor Services Tuesday introduced a $20 million venture with Investia to create a business-targeted European mutual fund marketplace.

The FundsHub service will allow banks and other finance service companies to outsource mutual funds and allow customers to tap into the online investment sector.

The fund aggregator intends to bring banks, brokers, and insurers an easy path to online investment services under the individual company's brand name. The service also plays into the blurring of Europe's financial borders by allowing fund companies to connect to a pan-European distribution channel. FundsHub also claims private investors will win out through a wider array of fund choices, research, and assessment tools.

The service runs on Javelin technology created by Investia.

"There are two major forces that are shaking up European retail investment. First, more and more European private investors want to invest in higher yielding, better performing investments," said Mark Collier, chief executive officer of FundsHub and Investia's co-founder. "Secondly, they want great value, fast access, choice and control of these investments via the Internet. FundsHub is giving financial services companies in the UK and Europe the opportunity to tap that demand by plugging straight into an outsourced fund supermarket."

Collier claims that FundsHub will serve as a panacea to Europe's limited gateway between private investors and mutual fund distribution, which he says is now dominated by universal banks selling in-house products.

"In the leading markets, the top four or five banks usually account for 75% to 80% of net sales. Non-domestic fund managers account for only 7% of total sales across the Continent," said Collier. "Consumers are being underserviced and overcharged."

The site also provides links between fund companies and distributors, who then maintain the same client list. FundsHub can also be personalized for the distributor.