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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Westwood Makes an Acquisition

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Westwood Holdings Group, which last year snapped up the Philadelphia Fund, is buying McCarthy Group Advisors, the investment adviser to the $62.4 million McCarthy Multi-Cap Stock Fund (MGAMX). Omaha, Nebraska-based McCarthy also manages more than $1 billion in private wealth and institutional assets.

Bill Hardcastle
Westwood Holdings Group
Chief Financial Officer
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed in the press release issued Wednesday morning. The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

"Over the last couple of years, we have been exploring opporunities to augment our organic growth," Bill Hardcastle, chief financial officer at Dallas, Texas-based Westwood, told The MFWire.com in an interview.

Westwood currently has around $740 million of assets across its five mutual funds, which are branded under the WHG banner. The McCarthy fund will be the sixth in the WHG lineup.

Overall assets at Westwood Holdings Group were at $9.7 billion as of end-June.

Westwood plans to absorb all 11 McCarthy employees, according to Hardcastle.

It was McCarthy's mutual fund that initially sparked discussions between the two firms, Hardcastle said. Talks eventually led to the acquisition of the entire company.

Cambridge International Partners Inc. served as financial advisor to Westwood and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP provided legal advice.

Hardcastle said Westwood will continue to evaluate acquisition opportunities.
Company Press Release

Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. to Acquire McCarthy Group Advisors, Expanding Westwood Trust's Private Wealth Platform

DALLAS, Sep 22, 2010 -- Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire McCarthy Group Advisors, LLC (MGA), a registered investment advisor based in Omaha, Nebraska. MGA managed over $1 billion in private wealth and institutional client assets as of June 30, 2010, and serves as the advisor to the McCarthy Multi-Cap Stock Fund (MGAMX), a no-load mutual fund. It is expected that MGA will operate as an Omaha branch of Westwood Trust, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Westwood. Westwood had total assets under management of $9.7 billion, including $1.8 billion under management at Westwood Trust, as of June 30, 2010. The transaction is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter, and is expected to be accretive to the earnings of Westwood Holdings Group.

"We have been seeking opportunities to expand the Westwood Trust platform into additional markets and have found an excellent fit in McCarthy Group Advisors," stated Brian Casey, Westwood's President and Chief Executive Officer. "MGA is one of the leading wealth management firms in the Omaha market and is managed by an outstanding group of professionals who share our philosophy of providing clients with superior long-term investment performance and attentive service."

Art Burtscher, Chairman of McCarthy Group Advisors, commented, "The combination with Westwood will provide our clients with expanded investment opportunities and continuity in the investment process and discipline which have guided McCarthy Group Advisors for over two decades. Westwood's depth of resources will also enable us to increase our presence in the Omaha private wealth and institutional markets. We are proud to be joining the Westwood team and are confident in their approach to investment management services."

Susan M. Byrne, Westwood's founder, Chairman, and Chief Investment Officer, commented, "We are pleased to welcome MGA's founder and Chief Investment Officer, Rich Jarvis, to our investment team. Rich is a seasoned investment professional with a deep knowledge of portfolio management and a successful long-term track record."

Brian Casey added, "Omaha and the surrounding region represent a vibrant market offering opportunities to build on the foundation established by MGA's principals. We are seeking to augment our organic growth by strategically acquiring mutual fund assets and private wealth firms, along with additional products and research capabilities, and this acquisition achieves a number of those goals. In addition to our new client relationships, the McCarthy Multi-Cap Stock Fund also provides a natural extension to the WHG Funds mutual fund lineup."

About Westwood

Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. manages investment assets and provides services for its clients through two subsidiaries, Westwood Management Corp. and Westwood Trust. Westwood Management Corp. is a registered investment advisor and provides investment advisory services to corporate pension funds, public retirement plans, endowments, foundations, the WHG Funds, other mutual funds and clients of Westwood Trust. Westwood Trust provides trust services and participation in common trust funds that it sponsors to institutions and high net worth individuals. Westwood Holdings Group, Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WHG."

For more information on Westwood, please visit our website at www.westwoodgroup.com.

For more information on the WHG Funds, please visit www.whgfunds.com.

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