MFS Holds Review for Ad Biz

MFS Investment Management has selected four undisclosed finalists in a review for its advertising account.

There is no incumbent on the estimated $5-8 million business, as the Boston mutual fund organization parted with Warwick Baker O’Neill, New York, last year.

The review is being led by Anne-Marie Doherty, an independent consultant in Natick, Mass, who declined to name the finalists or comment on the search.

The agencies are believed to be located in the Northeast, with some shops hailing from the Boston-area and Philadelphia. A decision is expected within the next few weeks.

Executives at MFS did not return calls.

Headquartered in Boston, MFS competes against companies such as crosstown giant Fidelity Investments, which recently launched new ads through Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos themed “See yourself succeeding.” Charles Schwab and Janus are other category players that have been highly visible with ads.

MFS, which touts itself as “America’s oldest mutual fund organization,” has lag-ged behind other money managers in the past, but recently made strides with high-returning technology mutual funds and boasted over 48 percent growth between 1998 and 1999.

MFS claims to have “invented” America’s first open-ended mutual fund, Massachusetts Investors Trust, which was created when the company was founded in 1924.

The firm now manages more than $163.7 billion in assets for more than 5 million individual and institutional mutual fund and annuity investors worldwide.