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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Phoenix To Boost Fund Lineup

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Phoenix Companies has struck an agreement with Harris Investment Management that will make the Hartford, Connecticut-based Phoenix the investment adviser, distributor and administrator of the Harris Insight Funds.

The deal, made public Wednesday, was followed by an announcement on Thursday that Phoenix plans to take the Turner Strategic Growth Fund under its wing -- its fourth fund adoption if approved by shareholders.

Under the deal with Harris, the Chicago-headquartered firm will continue to manage the majority of the Insight Funds and will become subadviser to several existing PhoenixFunds.

The Harris Insight Funds family, which will be renamed Phoenix-Insight Funds, encompasses 19 funds with more than $10.5 billion in assets under management.

The arrangement, which is expected to be finalized in the second quarter pending the approval of shareholders and other customary conditions, would raise Phoenix's equity and fixed income mutual fund assets to $11.3 billion and money market assets to $7.3 billion. PhoenixFunds consists of 51 funds.

Harris already acts as subadviser to the Phoenix Total Value Fund and will become the largest of the subadvisers when the deal is completed.

Meanwhile, Phoenix's arrangement with Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based Turner Investment Partners calls for the reorganization of the Turner Strategic Fund, which will take on the name Phoenix Growth Opportunities Fund, if the proposed adoption is given the go-ahead by shareholders. Portfolio manager Robert Turner and his investment team, who have managed the fund since its launch in 1997, will continue as subadvisers to the fund.

In a related development, Gretchen Lash resigned as president, chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Engemann Asset Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Phoenix Investment Partners, in mid-March, according to Reuters.

Malcolm Axon, Engemann's chief financial officer, is now the firm's acting president, according to a company spokesperson.  

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