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Global FranTech And GIDBank Sign New Distribution Agreement For A Structured Product, Franklin Forbes

The first of its kind GIDBanks Hub will take a scientific approach to Marketing Franklin Forbes Fund worldwide.


Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/07/2006 --The first of its kind GIDBanks Hub will take a scientific approach to Marketing Franklin Forbes Fund worldwide.

Louis Roman, GIDBanks, Chief Executive Officer commented: "Glacier International Depository Bank is the first financial institution in Spain to offer Franklin Forbes fund through our worlwide licensing program with the Global FranTech Group". He outlines how GIDBanks Europe targets will evolved to the new fund of funds operations of GIDBanks and Affiliate Insurance companies. Now GIDBanks is one of the new heads of European distribution for Franklin Forbes through its "Global Cash Management" banking platform.

Richard C. Schmitz, President, Blackwood Management / Franklin Forbes, said "We chose GIDBanks becuase of their global expansion plans into Europe, Asia and South America with the GIDBank licensing program through Global FranTech Group who has a tremendous geographic reach and proven track record establishing licensing agreements".

This GIDBanks Euro-acceptability will be well accepted for a bank who hopes to exploit the continent's movement towards open architecture in order to sell Franklin Forbes funds through its new license GIDBanks "Global Cash Management" banking platform.

About Blackwood Management

Before founding Blackwood Management, President, Dick Schmitz ran the funds operations of Manulife Financial and Hansch Brothers Financial Services. But it was with Blackwood Management which he founded during his development of structured financial product Franklin Forbes, targeting European financial institutions and private swiss banks from Luxembourg during the late-90s, that he developed his distribution network.

"The passing of our first European directive on the free marketing of Franklin Forbes investment funds provided a tremendous opportunity for us and, once the Franklin Forbes product and administration was firmly established in Luxembourg, sales really took off at that time,"
reminisces Mr Schmitz.

" Templeton, Fidelity, Flemings, Mercury and Threadneedle were all becoming established, working with a network of sales outlets across Europe."

Pioneering days Mr Schmitz's eyes almost mist over when he remembers the early, pioneering days of cross-border fund sales. But the shot-gun approach once used to "just get names on the forms and sign the deals" has evolved into a scientific sales push with GIDBanks.

The GIDBanks targets are predominantly the fund of funds operations of European financial institutes, private swiss banks and insurance companies. Mr Schmitz plans to double the $,500,000,000.00 in Franklin Forbes's cross-border range through these new GIDBank licensing and corespondent relations worldwide over the next three years.

"These channels account for 80 per cent of all our mutual fund business in Europe," says Mr Schmitz.

About Global FranTech Group

FranTech is a worldwide company that consist of core partners surrounded by interlocking networks of consultants and affiliates in key banking countries and diciplines.They have over thirty five years of experience with their proven FranTech global partners. In addition,FranTech has a proven track records in assembling, negotiating and consumating trade, licensing, franchising, tecnologigal transfer and financial agreements in 220 countries; They pool strenths drawn from experience in international banking, securities, and trade policey, insurance, law, marketing investment banking and technology research. This broad expertise, coupled with access to key Government and business decesion makers, provides global services uniquely valuable to GIDBank and Franklin Forbes in restructuring global economy.GidBank and Franklin Forbes is pleased to commence a strong working relationship with Global FranTech Group, and FranTech Asia.

Phil Nadeau, CEO,of Global FranTech Group, Says "With GIDBanks new global licensing expansion plans, we soon expect to license into the Asian market, FranTech is in negotiations in China with several Chinese banks about GidBanks licenses".

"GIDBank Hub operations is gradually becoming more and more open. As a professional and intelligent global asset management bank, we are quite a natural provider for licensing our services to banks and insurance companies looking for specialist fund producers.

"We are part of a GIDBank merchant or investment bank network and are a natural fit for a professional fund choosing bank, says Mr Schmitz,"
referring to the new distribution agreement for global distibuting Franklin Forbes by GIDBank.

This smooth line of euro-patter has helped Franklin Forbes pull in over $500,000,000.00 from the top 20 per cent of distributors in the Swiss and German market since 1998, despite the drastic downturn. Much of this has come from fund of fund distributors including Deutsche Bank, even though Franklin Forbes has been omitted from a controversial list of preferred providers.

"We asked Deutsche about their so-called deal with preferred providers," says Mr Schmitz, referring to link-ups with the likes of Fidelity, Invesco and Templeton.

"They said 'Franklin Forbes is one of our GIDBanks very few preferred providers'."

About GIDBank New Global opportunities
Mr Roman remains very enthusiastic about GIDBank Spain, which is soon to be leading in the process of repealing tax rules discriminating against foreign funds in global markets.

He is also looking at new GIDBank opportunities in Argentina, Italy, Sweden and Spain, where GIDBank opened a bank in Spain, and has already secured an agreement with distribution platform, for the new Franklin Forbes Bank product.

France, where an agreement has long been in place with Societe General, is "next on the drawing board, but we will wait and see," he adds cautiously. Now that the Iraq war is over, he believes pension reform and demographics will eventually herald the return of Europe's "nice growth markets for GIDBanks".

About Franklin Forbes

The Franklin Forbes manages, over $500,000,000.00 is invested in retail mutual funds, but most of this is in the UK, sold by independent financial advisers (IFAs), rather than banks. Mr Schmitz's job promoting an Franklin Forbes brand on the continent, is a much tougher one.

"We are fortunate that we have developed a very strong Franklin Forbes brand over 8 years," says Mr Schmitz. "But the difference between the UK and European market is so huge, that they need to be tackled separately.

GIDBanks have never had that same strength in Europe, where they have only 15 per cent share."

The Global Banking is moving down the multi-tied route now that GIDBanks has appointed Franklin Forbes as one of preferred providers, says Mr Schmitz. But Continental Europe is already much further down this route and he expects the trend to continue: "We have scarce resources, so when targeting a continent like Europe, we focus on the large distribution centers."

Mr Schmitz also points to strong cultural differences between continents. "In the States, it's common to say to a customer: 'If you are happy with the fund, can I have 10 names of your friends whom I can approach?'

"In Germany, you will get a very strange look if you ask this question. If you ask for referrals in Europe, you must do it in a very casual way.

GIDBanks will teach European distributors how to get referrals online. This new exercise will be a great success. That's why we need to rely on new GIDBanks Italian, Spanish and German locations to tell us how the market works for this new "Global Cash Management " approach.

Product differentiation is also important. Whereas GIDBank depositors UK clients generally prefer UK equities, a pan-European product as is Franklin Forbes is in any continental European country.

With more GIDBanks outsourcing their sub-advisory business, European equity fund prospectuses are the core products tucked into Mr Schmitz's briefcase when he does his continental rounds. Using external providers.

But with fixed income management fast becoming more sophisticated, Franklin Forbes has added two bond funds to its Luxembourg range.

Naturally, there is a strong reluctance among some banks to admit to customers that they are using external, often foreign providers, for core banking products.

"It's difficult to explain to customers why you're using a different manager and why you have replaced an internal one," admits Mr Schmitz. "We know the case can often be misinterpreted. They really should say: 'We can get you a high alpha by outsourcing', but many prefer to be discreet like GIDBanks."

Of course, Franklin Forbes has not been without its problems, demonstrated by a prolonged "for sale" start-up period from 1999 to 2002.

As with many banks, equity fund performance has varied from poor to excellent over the last decade. This has led GIDBank to several restructures of global investment process and management hierarchy.

The GIDBanks position of Global chief marketing officer will be filled shorly by an external appointment.

GIDBanks Global chief investment officer credited for reshaping the process in the year 2003 recently decided to have FranTech Group license GIDBanks programs worldwide, after being offered a different challenging global role's within GIDBanks. This followed a Global planned GIDBank licensing review of global strategy and "capital leadership banking resources" in the light of sustained bear markets for the Global Cash Management" platform.

GIDbanks Continental New Bank dealings Lou Roman, said, "We are now working on the New Spanish market for their GIDBank opening in Barcelona, Spain". with Global FranTech Group licensing GIDBank into several new global banking locations.

GIDBanks New Funds Bank, an institutional third party distribution platform "Global Cash Management" created by Spain's GIDBank, has signed a deal to distribute Franklin Forbes's Luxembourg registered family of open-ended Sicav funds. Which will cover several equity and two bond funds.

"In most cases, Spanish banks will look for something where they have a gap in their offerings," says Mr Roman.

Agreements with GIDBank's New Spanish distributors have given GIDBank "access to a huge share of the Spanish market."

Their GIDBank new selections are driven by fund ratings, he reveals.
"Although they sign up whole umbrella funds, they only market the best-rated sub funds at GIDBanks."

He says the GIDBanks new type of distribution deal normally takes between one and six months to negotiate. "Lou Roman is now working to secure further selective GIDBank distribution agreements through the Global FranTech Group in 220 countries."

Distribution through Deutsche Bank concentrates predominantly on Continental European equities, encompassing both the Luxembourg Sicav offshore funds. "Our current strong relationship with Blackwood Management and Deutsche Bank, and in particular with their private banking and private wealth departments is not affected at all by the existing list of strategic providers," confirms Mr. Schmitz. We look forward to our new distribution agreements with GIDBanks.

"We have been with Deutsche Bank for a number of years and several other key distributors in Switzerland and Germany. We are seeing today more of this guided architecture rather than truly open architecture which is clearly taking place" such as GIDBanks "Global Cash Management" banking platform.

GIDBanks suite of hedge funds is sold to GIDBanks private licensed banks, funds of funds and family offices by Mr Roman's New teams in Barcelona, London, Sweden, Madrid and Milan. "The Franklin Forbes fund of hedge funds market in Europe is an attractive and growing one," says Mr Roman. GIDBank is currently seeking a European sales force for its new Franklin Forbes distribution through its "Global Cash Management Banking" platform.

Franklin Forbes is a Luxembourg-domiciled fund "in order to enhance its attractiveness to GIDBanks European investors" in its Global Cash Management Banking program.

The GIDBanks Hub is the new equity sell off of global banking licenses in China, India and Africa licenses now available through the Global FranTech Group.

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Contact Name:
Shanker Damodaran
Tel: 0091-(0)9327067935