Magazine article American Banker

Deal Would Triple B of a's Stock Fund Assets

Magazine article American Banker

Deal Would Triple B of a's Stock Fund Assets

Article excerpt

BankAmerica Corp.'s planned acquisition of Robertson Stephens & Company Group comes with a bonus: a tripling of the bank's stock mutual fund assets under management.

Though BankAmerica is buying Robertson Stephens mainly for its equity underwriting and research expertise, the securities firm also brings $2.8 billion in equity funds. That's a clear boost for a bank that has been slow to grow its own equity funds, experts said.

"Assuming they merge the families, it is a tremendous benefit to increasing long-term assets under management," said Joy P. Montgomery, a consultant with Money Marketing Initiatives, Morristown, N.J.

The only hitch: Some of Robertson Stephens' funds may prove too risky for many bank customers.

A BankAmerica spokesman said the company has yet to decide how it will run the fund businesses. There are no immediate plans to merge the families, but that will be considered when the deal closes at yearend, he said.

BankAmerica, based in San Francisco, has moved in recent years to boost its equity funds, as part of a plan to grab more business from retail investors.

However, equity funds still account for just 9% of the company's $13.9 billion in total fund assets, with the remainder mainly in money market funds. BankAmerica's proprietary funds are known as the Pacific Horizon Funds and the Time Horizon Funds.

Robertson Stephens, based in San Francisco, now offers 11 equity funds. These range from traditional offerings, such as a large-capitalization stock fund, to a fund that specializes in hedging and one that sells stocks short. …

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