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UAM to Acquire Pacific Financial

March 21, 1997|(Tom Petruno) | (Bloomberg News)

Beverly Hills-based Pacific Financial Research, a $4.2-billion-asset money manager best known for its Clipper stock mutual fund, agreed to be bought by United Asset Management Corp. of Boston. Pacific Financial, led by veteran investor James Gipson, becomes the 48th investment firm in UAM's growing stable. Its firms, which operate mostly autonomously, manage a total of $175 billion in private money and mutual funds. UAM didn't reveal what it paid for Pacific Financial, but analysts estimated the price at about $125 million. Pacific Financial is one of several Southland money managers that have put themselves up for possible sale in recent months. Roger Engemann & Associates of Pasadena also is entertaining offers, and giant TCW Group, parent of Trust Co. of the West in Los Angeles, is considering a sale or other major transaction. With the stock market near record highs, analysts say the time is ripe for privately held money managers to get top dollar for their businesses. UAM, which tends to buy firms whose managers intend to remain with the business, owns five other Southland firms: Analytic TSA Global Asset Management; First Pacific Advisors; NWQ Investment Management; Provident Investment Counsel; and Rice, Hall, James & Associates. Gipson said joining UAM will allow him to "focus on producing superior investment returns while UAM helps open new markets for us."

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