BankAmerica Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., has agreed to sell its Robertson Stephens Investment Management unit to a group led by the firm's management, the banking company announced Thursday.

The price was not disclosed.

G. Randy Hecht, the money manager's president and chief executive officer, would head the new company, which would be called RS Funds. It has $4 billion of assets under management.

BankAmerica had been trying to sell the San Francisco-based money manager since June, as it prepared to merge with NationsBank Corp. It originally asked $150 million for the unit, but poor fund performance and high redemptions reportedly kept buyers away.

The management buyout "was the only solution left," said Burton J. Greenwald, a Philadelphia-based mutual fund consultant.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

BankAmerica bought Robertson, Stephens & Co. in October 1997 and sold its investment banking component in August to BankBoston Corp., which renamed it BancBoston Robertson Stephens Inc. BankAmerica and NationsBank merged in September.

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