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Rating:AMG Finishes a Mutual Fund Deal Not Rated 3.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, April 15, 2010

AMG Finishes a Mutual Fund Deal

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Affiliated Managers Group on Thursday finished its acquisition of Highbury Financial, parent company of Chicago fund firm Aston Asset Management. The $117 million deal was first unveiled in mid-December.

AMG now owns a "substantial majority" of Aston, said AMG officials in a news release.

Aston, whose management, employees and sub-advisors remain unchanged, joins the list of AMG affiliates which includes Tweedy, Browne and Third Avenue Management.

Aston chairman and CEO Stu Bilton and president Ken Anderson will continue to run the firm, which has 24 sub-advised no-load mutual funds with total net assets of about $7.6 billion as of end-March.

The Aston fund family started out as CT&T Funds, whose initial shareholders were Chicago Title & Trust Company clients who rolled their 401(k) assets into CT&T's three funds. The fund family changed its name to Alleghany Funds in 1996 and in 2000 was sold to ABN-AMRO and became known as ABN-AMRO Funds.

In 2006, ABN-AMRO sold its US mutual fund business to Highbury Financial, a holding company started by executives from investment bank Berkshire Capital, for $38.6 million.

. The sale of Highbury, announced December 14, came four months after Highbury formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives amid a battle the firm was having against activist shareholders.
Company Press Release

BOSTON, April 15, 2010 – Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (NYSE: AMG) today announced the completion of its investment in Aston Asset Management LLC ("Aston") through the acquisition of Highbury Financial Inc. (OTCBB: HBRF), Aston's parent company.

Based in Chicago, Aston offers sub-advised investment products to the mutual fund and managed accounts markets. Aston is the principal advisor to the Aston Funds, a fund family of 24 sub-advised, no-load mutual funds with total net assets of approximately $7.6 billion as of March 31, 2010. Led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Bilton and President Kenneth Anderson, Aston carefully selects investment managers that follow disciplined investment processes and best-in-class business standards, while seeking to achieve consistent investment performance. The firm distributes its domestic equity, international, alternatives, sector, balanced and fixed income funds to consultants, registered investment advisors, broker-dealers and defined contribution plans.

In the transaction, AMG acquired all the outstanding equity of Highbury, and now owns a substantial majority of Highbury's sole operating subsidiary, Aston. Aston’s sub-advisors, management and employees remain unchanged.

About Affiliated Managers Group

AMG is a global asset management company with equity investments in leading boutique investment management firms (its “Affiliates”). AMG’s innovative partnership approach allows each Affiliate’s management team to own significant equity in their firm while maintaining operational autonomy. AMG’s strategy is to generate growth through the internal growth of existing Affiliates, as well as through investments in new Affiliates. In addition, AMG provides centralized assistance to its Affiliates in strategic matters, marketing, distribution, product development and operations. As of December 31, 2009 (pro forma for a pending investment), the aggregate assets under management of AMG’s Affiliates were approximately $253 billion in over 350 investment products across a broad range of investment styles, asset classes and distribution channels.

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