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Rating:Deal Bolsters Evergreen Institutional Lineup Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Deal Bolsters Evergreen Institutional Lineup

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Value shops continue to attract buyers. The most recent example is J.L. Kaplan Associates. The Boston-based value specialist was picked up by Wachovia's Evergreen Investments yesterday afternoon for a reported $45 million. Evergreen did not disclose the terms of the purchase. The transaction is expected to close some time in the fourth quarter.

The pricing of the deal -- just 1.5 percent of assets -- likely reflects both the impact of the bear market on asset managers and Kaplan's lack of brand. At the peak of the market, deals for value managers such as Sanford Bernstein typically ran at more than 4 percent of assets.

The deal should help to build Evergreen's institutional business by providing it with track records around which to build product. Nearly all of Kaplan's $3 billion in assets under management are mandates from institutional and high-net-worth investors.

"J. L. Kaplan's disciplined 'owner's' approach to value investing has created what I believe is a remarkable long-term track record," said Dennis Ferro, president and chief investment officer of Evergreen Investment Management Company. "Their investment management capabilities extend our expertise in the institutional arena. I'm pleased J. L. Kaplan has joined our roster of talented investment professionals."

Kaplan is not ranked by Nelson's among the nation's leading money managers. Nelson's guide is used by many institutional investors.

James Kaplan, who founded the shop in 1976 and remains its principal owner, will remain at the firm. Also signed to contracts are the principal analysts.

Kaplan will operate under its current name and operate as a separate asset manager. Evergreen will add the firm's four domestic small- and mid-cap products to its distribution network.

Other areas, including compliance, human resources and information technology support will be taken over by Evergreen. The firm did not reveal if jobs would be eliminated from those areas. 

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