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Rating:E Trade Buys Fund Firm Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, August 09, 2005

E Trade Buys Fund Firm

Reported by Theresa Sim

Just one day after E*Trade Financial announced that it was acquiring the domestic operations of Harrisdirect, the discount brokerage is at it again.

E*Trade will also acquire approximately $1 billion of assets under management through the purchase of high-net worth asset manager Kobren Insight Management.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts-based RIA manages individual and institutional investors' money using exclusively mutual funds, but is perhaps most famous for its investment newsletter, Fidelity Insight.

Eric Kobren, president and chief investment officer of the firm, began writing Fidelity Insight in 1985 and claims more than one million subscribers since then. Kobren also publishes FundsNet Insight, a newsletter that provides advice on the funds offered through Charles Schwab, Fidelity and TD Waterhouse, according to the Kobren website.

The RIA and newsletter publisher is also a fund firm. Kobren Insight is the advisor to two affiliated funds -- the Kobren Growth Fund and Delphi Value.

The Kobren Growth Fund, managed by Eric Kobren, has $63 million in assets under management, while the Delphi Value Fund has $121 million in assets under management. Delphi Value is subadvised by Scott Black, president of Delphi Management.

E Trade, through its acquisition of Kobren Insight Management, will become the new advisor to the funds, said E Trade spokeswoman Pam Erickson. The Kobren Growth Fund will continue to be advised by Kobren Insight and the Delphi Fund will stay under the Delphi Management subadvisory contract.

Eric Kobren's famed newsletters, however, will not be included as part of the deal, said Erickson.

"The acquisition advances E*TRADE FINANCIAL's regional advisor strategy, offering personalized wealth management services to its retail and Corporate Services clients with over $250,000 in assets," wrote officials in a press release.

E Trade also said that it will continue to look for target wealth management firms in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Scottsdale, San Diego, Orange County, Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

The Kobren deal is expected to add $10 million in revenue and $2.3 million of net income in the fiscal year 2006. Kobren Insight Management will continue to operate under its own name. Kobren, Rusty Vanneman, a CFA at the firm, and six analysts will also join E Trade. 

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