I was reading about a company that includes a large family of mutual funds and their "distributors." What exactly does "distributors" mean?
It's essentially the marketing arm of the money manager.
For example, Wellington is a money manager. One of their 'distributors' (or wholesalers, if you prefer) is a company called PLANCO out of Paoli, PA and they distribute the service through Harford Director annuities and Hartford Mutual Funds. Internal wholesalers call on brokers and a) try to get you interested in their product, and b) set appointments for their external wholesalers, who are actually the people that show up with the shirts and golf balls that seem to be so sought after in our industry.
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