Germany's Dresdner Bank is using the acquisition of a large and respected U.S. money management firm to build a worldwide institutional investment business, bank officials said.

In buying San Francisco-based RCM Capital Management from Travelers Group for $300 million, Dresdner would gain a highly profitable firm with $26 billion under management. The deal, announced last week, is expected to close in about six months.

Dresdner, Germany's second-largest commercial bank with $306 billion in assets, expects that it can help RCM - which caters to a virtual Who's Who of U.S. institutional clients, including AT&T, Coca-Cola, and Chevron - develop a clientele far beyond these shores.

"RCM will be the institutional money management arm of Dresdner's global strategy," said a Dresdner executive, who asked that his name be withheld. "The firm has a huge mandate with the bank."

The acquisition announcement comes at a time when Dresdner is trying to build a global money management presence to compete with other leading European banks.

Founded in 1970, RCM is known for offering a successful mix of U.S. and international stocks and bonds to U.S. investors. Dresdner officials expect that the bank can help the money management unit build a client base in Europe and Asia.

"We can do a lot for this business," said the Dresdner executive. "RCM will now have access to all of our clients."

Peter L. Bain, a principal at Berkshire Capital Corp., New York, said that the planned $300 million purchase - about 3.5 times annual revenues - would be one of the pricier money management deals announced in recent months.

But Mr. Bain, who follows money management deals, argued that Dresdner is paying for a firm with a reputation for larger-than-average profit margins and strong growth potential.

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