In contrast to one-stop MPF funds offered by the big banks, CRC Protective's new fund scheme will out-source several management functions, enabling independent assessment of the fund's performance and enhanced security, according to Elroy Chan, managing director and chief executive of CRC Protective Life Insurance. Of the four key areas involved in fund management - trustee, administrator, custodian and investment manager - CRC Protective will undertake only the trustee and administrator roles. By contracting out the custodian and investment manager roles, Mr Chan said the fund would retain a stronger ability to scrutinise the fund's performance 'In order to protect the long-term interests of our investors we take the approach of unbundling the services,' Mr Chan said. 'The distance gives us greater power to dissolve the relationships.' Mr Chan said some of the larger banks that provided MPF funds retained all of the management functions in-house, making it harder to fire a poorly-performing division. The CRC Protective MPF Scheme is comprised of four constituent funds designed to meet dif ferent needs: Guaranteed Growth Fund, Global Growth Fund, Global Balanced Fund and Capital Preservation Fund. CRC Protective was in the first batch of companies to receive a licence to offer MPF funds, which will become mandatory by December 2000. Mr Chan said Citibank would provide the custodian function for the various funds while the investment bank Solomon Brothers would take over the investment management role. In developing the funds, Mr Chan said the CRC Protective decided to create a financial product with three key strengths: a high rate of return, above standard security, and flexibility in product offering. Under its 'Flexiplan' programme, employees will have a number of options to select additional insurance packages. For example, if an employer makes an MPF contribution above 5 per cent, the beneficiary can choose to allocate those funds towards additional medical or life insurance products. Established in 1995, CRC Protective currently provides a full range of life and health insurance products. Mr Chan said the company signed $200 million in new premiums last year and expected to take a healthy share of the MPF market, estimating that two million of Hong Kong's working population currently do not have any retirement pension plans. To market it's products, Mr Chan plans to build a strong network of commissioned sales staff. The company will hire up to 1,000 direct sales staff and contract an additional 200 agents. He said the idea was to create an extensive sales and information network which would provide long- term relationships with the beneficiaries.