Merrill Lynch to Change Mutual Fund Name

January 30, 2006 ( - Merrill Lynch Investment Management (MLIM) has announced that it will change the name of its US mutual funds in an effort to boost retail sales.

MLIM said US retail products will be sold under the “Princeton Portfolio Research & Management” name beginning in May, affecting about $223 billion in mutual funds and separately managed accounts in the United States , according to Reuters.

The name change will not affect MLIM’s portfolio management teams, or any investment strategies used for its mutual funds or separately managed accounts.   The company said MLIM will continue to use the Merrill Lynch Investment Managers brand for its institutional, non-US and offshore businesses.

Reuters reports that the company said it is greatly enhanced by its connection to Merrill Lynch, but the Merrill name has also inhibited broader acceptance of its retail products by third-party financial advisors.   Many financial advisors view Merrill as a competitor, the company said in a statement.