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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Heritage Reorganizes Under SMA Specialists

News summary by MFWire's editors

The Heritage mutual fund brand is no more. On Tuesday Eagle Asset Management re-branded the funds with its own name upon completion of their integration into the firm. Eagle execs look forward to taking advantage of a "broader sales distribution network" now that the deal is done.

"The integration is an exciting step forward for Eagle as investors seek more efficient ways to access retail, institutional and 401(k) platform products," stated CEO Richard Riess.

A separately managed account specialist based in St. Petersburg, Florida, Eagle already sub-advised some of the Heritage funds, and the other existing sub-advisors will remain. However, two of the funds -- the Heritage Cash Trust Money Market Fund and the Heritage Municipal Money Market Fund will not change names until May 1, 2009.

Company Press Release

St. Petersburg, FL -- Nov. 11, 2008 – Eagle Asset Management, provider of equity and fixed-income investment strategies to institutional and individual investors, today announced it has completed its integration of Heritage Asset Management’s family of mutual funds. This strategic reorganization enhances Eagle’s separately managed accounts business with a line of mutual and money market funds, now known as Eagle Family of Funds, and increases the firm’s assets under management to approximately $17 billion as of Oct. 31, 2008.

Before taking over as investment adviser, Eagle Asset Management had subadvised many of Heritage’s mutual funds. The portfolio management relationships remain the same under the Eagle brand. There were no staffing or administrative changes as a result of the reorganization.

“The integration is an exciting step forward for Eagle as investors seek more efficient ways to access retail, institutional and 401(k) platform products,” said Richard Riess, chief executive officer of Eagle Asset Management, in commenting on the announcement. “The reorganization enables us to offer a broader spectrum of institutional and retail investment strategies and funds to financial advisors and investors under a unified Eagle brand.”

“The combination immediately enhances Eagle’s product line-up and provides us with a broader sales distribution network, allowing our wholesalers to offer both retail and institutional products to our network of brokerage platforms,” said Stephen Hill, president of Eagle Asset Management. “We believe this move positions Eagle very well for continued success and future growth as the industry continues to consolidate.”

The newly formed Eagle Family of Funds offers retail, institutional and retirement share classes for multiple strategies including: Eagle Mid Cap Growth Fund, Eagle Large Cap Core Fund, Eagle Mid Cap Stock Fund, Eagle Small Cap Growth Fund, Eagle Small Cap Core Value Fund (which opened Nov. 3, 2008 and is subadvised by Eagle Boston Investment Management), Eagle Capital Appreciation Fund (subadvised by Goldman Sachs Asset Management), Eagle Growth and Income Fund (subadvised by Thornburg Investment Management) and Eagle International Equity Fund (subadvised by Artio Global Management ). The subadvisory relationships are unchanged under Eagle.

The Heritage Cash Trust Money Market Fund and Heritage Municipal Money Market Fund became part of the Eagle Family of Funds on Nov. 1, 2008, but will keep their existing names until May 1, 2009. At that time, the funds will be renamed Eagle Money Market Fund and Eagle Municipal Money Market Fund.

About Eagle Asset Management
Eagle Asset Management, founded in 1976, provides an array of equity and fixed-income investing strategies to a variety of individual and institutional clients, both domestically and internationally. In November 2008, Eagle became the investment adviser to Heritage Asset Management’s Heritage Family of Funds, now known as Eagle Family of Funds. Eagle currently has more than $17 billion under management in individual accounts, mutual funds, variable-annuity products and money market funds. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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