Webster Financial of Conn. Buys 2d Insurance Agency This Year

Webster Financial Corp. of Waterbury, Conn., said it has bought Hamden-based Follis, Wylie & Lane, its second purchase of an in-state insurance agency this year.Terms were not disclosed. In February, Webster bought Levine Cos., which has offices in Waterford and Norwich. Terms of that deal were also not disclosed.

Webster bought its first agency, Damman Insurance Associates, in 1998. The acquired agencies will all be marketed under the Webster Insurance banner by July, a spokesman said.

Webster, a $9 billion-asset thrift holding company, plans to continue buying agencies, he added.

Follis, Wylie & Lane wrote $10 million in premiums in 1999 and had revenues of $1 million. The agency offers property and casualty, life, and health insurance. Its operations will be moved to the Webster Insurance office in Wallingford.

- Cheryl Winokur

FleetBoston Folding Predecessor's Portfolios into Its Galaxy Funds

FleetBoston Financial Corp. is preparing to merge the mutual fund assets of the former BankBoston Corp. into its Galaxy Funds family.On May 5, FleetBoston plans to fold the 17 portfolios and $11 billion of assets of the 1784 Funds into the $21 billion-asset Galaxy Funds group. A shareholder vote on the fund merger is scheduled for April 28.

Seven of the 1784 portfolios would be folded into existing Galaxy funds that have similar investment objectives; the other 10 would be rebranded with the Galaxy name.

Boston-based Fleet Financial Group merged with BankBoston in October 1999.

A spokesman said the two banking companies' investment management teams were merged in the fall and that the consolidation did not cause any layoffs.

- Amy L. Anderson

SEI Investments of Pennsylvania Unveils Its 1st Variable Annuity

SEI Investments Inc. of Oaks, Pa., plans to offer its first variable annuity.The product, which will feature 12 SEI multifund asset-allocation portfolios, is being underwritten by Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., a unit of Philadelphia-based Lincoln National Corp.

The variable annuity will be available in August through 5,700 financial advisers that sell SEI's other investment products, a spokesman said. SEI also plans to promote the product through bank brokerage units, he said.

Banks sold $13.9 billion of variable annuities in 1999, according to a recent study by Kenneth Kehrer Associates Inc. of Princeton, N.J.

- Cheryl Winokur

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