An investment group in Florida has raised to almost 20% its stake in BHC Financial, a Philadelphia-based clearing firm. "We have a lot of admiration for the company," said Bruce Sherman, chairman and president of Private Capital Management, a Naples, Fla., firm that invests in small-cap stocks. Private Capital and an affiliate, SPS Partners, revealed their investment in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Sherman said his company has been a longtime holder of the stock of BHC, which focuses on clearing for bank-owned brokers and went public in 1993. PCM's $17.8 million investment was made so it could be involved in "cooperative efforts to enhance shareholder value," the money manager said.

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