Salomon Smith Barney has entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Nikko Securities of Japan to offer fee-based consulting services there.
Frank Campanale, head of Salomon Smith Barney's Consulting Group, says Salomon Smith Barney is staffing up and looking for more growth overseas.
"It's like it was here [in the United States] in the 1970s, with commission deregulation," he says. Japan is deregulating fixed commissions beginning this month.
"People there have no place to put their money," Campanale adds, "so they are very excited about the idea of a comprehensive fee-type program."
He says the firm's consulting division has doubled the size of its research staff to 16, with more staff additions in Japan coming soon in addition to two retail executives just added to Salomon Smith Barney's office in Tokyo. Retail brokers from the United States and Japan will be trained and have the ability to offer the services, Campanale says.
The Salomon Smith Barney/ Nikko venture will offer traditional separately managed account programs, and a program of no-load mutual funds similar to Salomon Smith Barney's TRAK program here in the states. The no-load mutual fund program will be called JTRAK.
Campanale expects more growth throughout Asia and the Far East. The firm offers consulting services programs through its Hong Kong office, as well as its offices in Australia and Singapore. He says the firm is awaiting a uniform currency environment in Europe before expanding there--possibly later this year.
Salomon Smith Barney's Consulting Group, based in Wilmington, Del., manages $135 billion of client assets.