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Rating:Virtus Buys an RIA Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Virtus Buys an RIA

Reported by Irene Park

Hartford, Connecticut's Virtus Investment Partners [profile] announced today that it will acquire RIA Rampart Investment Management, adding its proprietary Rampart Options Management Systems (ROMS) platform to its capabilities.

Boston-based Rampart, which specializes in customized options strategies for institutional and high-net-worth clients and boasts $1.4 billion under management, will continue to be led by co-founders Ronald Egalka and David Fraley. It will also retain its brand, independent investment process, current employees and offices in Boston's Financial District.

Spokesman Joe Fazzino said that ROMS "fits in nicely" with Virtus' existing business with separately managed accounts and high-net-worth through its affiliates, which include Kayne Anderson Rudnick. "The capabilities that they have are very unique to their team," Fazzino said. "We're looking for opportunities to leverage those caps with our existing and other products."

"[ROMS] is a great capability to help [high-net-worth individuals] diversify their holdings," he added.

Virtus president and CEO George Aylward also stated in a company press release about ROMS, "Rampart's proprietary ROMS platform offers a significant advantage for individual and institutional clients that require specialized options strategies to provide either incremental income, downside protection, or attractive risk-adjusted total return."

"The opportunity to maintain our boutique culture, mathematically-driven investment processes and client service functions, combined with the benefits of Virtus' extensive distribution capabilities and business support model, were critical elements we considered when selecting the best long-term partner for Rampart," Egalka stated regarding the buy.  "Virtus offers distinct advantages for our team, including being a part of a company that shares our commitment to our clients."

In 2004, Eaton Vance hired Rampart to subadvise on closed-end funds with Eaton Vance, including Enhanced Equity Income Fund. Fazzino confirmed that this relationship has concluded, and that Rampart does not have any other subadvisory relationships at this time.

Barrington Partners of Boston represented Rampart in the acquisition. The buy should be completed by the fourth quarter.




Company Press Release

Virtus Investment Partners Announces Agreement to Acquire Rampart Investment Management

Firm specializes in customized options strategies

HARTFORD, Conn. and BOSTON, Sept. 4, 2012 -- Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTS), which operates a multi-manager asset management business, today announced that Rampart Investment Management, a registered investment advisor that specializes in customized options strategies for institutional and high-net-worth clients, will become a wholly owned boutique asset management affiliate of Virtus.  Since 1983, Rampart has provided systematic and disciplined options solutions to help their clients generate incremental yield, reduce downside risk and mitigate market volatility.

Rampart, a Boston-based, employee-owned investment manager with $1.4 billion under management, will continue to be led by co-founders Ronald M. Egalka, president and chief investment officer, and David R. Fraley, executive vice president, director of client services.  The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

As an affiliated partner of Virtus, Rampart will retain its brand, independent investment process, and its proprietary Rampart Options Management System (ROMSŪ) platform while leveraging Virtus' shared retail distribution and business support services.  In addition to focusing on expanding Rampart's current client base, Virtus expects to use Rampart's options overlay capability within existing investment strategies and introduce it in new products.

"We have the highest regard for Ron, Dave and the company they have built, and we are excited about the capabilities that the Rampart team will bring to Virtus as an affiliated partner," said George R. Aylward, Virtus' president and chief executive officer.

Aylward noted that Rampart's client base includes high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors, markets that Virtus currently serves.  "Rampart's proprietary ROMS platform offers a significant advantage for individual and institutional clients that require specialized options strategies to provide either incremental income, downside protection, or attractive risk-adjusted total return.  Ron, Dave and their team have established Rampart as a leader in this important market niche, and we look forward to partnering with them to serve their existing clients and extend their distinctive strategies to other opportunities," he said.

"The opportunity to maintain our boutique culture, mathematically-driven investment processes and client service functions, combined with the benefits of Virtus' extensive distribution capabilities and business support model, were critical elements we considered when selecting the best long-term partner for Rampart," Egalka said.  "Virtus offers distinct advantages for our team, including being a part of a company that shares our commitment to our clients."

Rampart's entire team will remain with the firm upon completion of the transaction, and the firm's senior leaders have entered into employment agreements with Virtus.  The company will maintain its offices in Boston's Financial District.

Barrington Partners of Boston represented Rampart in the transaction.  Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.  The addition of Rampart is not expected to have a material impact on Virtus' earnings in the near term.

About Rampart Investment Management

Founded in 1983, Rampart Investment Management is a Boston-based registered investment advisor and a leading asset manager specializing exclusively in option strategies.  With $1.4 billion in assets under management as of July 31, 2012, Rampart manages client assets with expertise in domestic and international, listed and over-the-counter, index and equity options.  The firm's investment solutions can add value to a broad spectrum of high-net-worth and tax-exempt institutional clients, mutual funds, domestic and international financial service companies, foundations and endowments.  The company's team of investment professionals uses an array of analytical tools, including the proprietary technology platform, the Rampart Options Management System (ROMSŪ), to help investors meet their goals, ranging from cash yield enhancement to risk mitigation. For more information, please visit www.rimco.com.

About Virtus Investment Partners

Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ: VRTS) is a distinctive partnership of boutique investment managers singularly committed to the long-term success of individual and institutional investors.  The company provides investment management products and services through its affiliated managers and select subadvisers, each with a distinct investment style, autonomous investment process and individual brand.  Virtus Investment Partners offers access to a variety of investment styles across multiple disciplines to meet a wide array of investor needs.  Its affiliated managers include Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co., Euclid Advisors LLC, Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC, Newfleet Asset Management, LLC, and Zweig Advisers LLC.  Additional information can be found at www.virtus.com

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