management firm that could eventually supply the banking company with retail investment products. The Charlotte, N.C.-based banking company bought close to a $20 million stake in Affiliated Managers Group, a Boston-based holding company with controlling interest in five investment management firms. AMG's affiliated firms have approximately $4.8 billion in assets under management in various investment portfolios. Sources at NationsBank and AMG would not disclose how large an equity stake the bank has taken, but an AMG official termed it a "substantial minority interest." While officials at NationsBank sees AMG as principally a good investment at the present time, they are also considering making some of these portfolios available to retail bank customers. "There's no question that there's a chance to link up strategically," said Michael F. Elliot, the director of NationsBank Leveraged Capital, the bank's private equity unit that made the acquisition. But Mr. Elliot said no plans had yet been made to integrate some of the AMG-affiliated portfolios within the NationsBank retail structure. The stake in AMG signals the first money management purchase by NationsBank Leveraged Capital. But AMG's president and chief executive, William J. Nutt, is no stranger to banks. He is a former president of the Boston Co., an investment management firm bought by Mellon Bank Corp. in 1993. (He later bought two of its business units. One of them, Boston-based Funds Distributors Inc., was signed on by Mellon to service the Dreyfus Funds.) Along with NationsBank, ITT Hartford Insurance Group also brought a minority stake in AMG. Neither company disclosed the amount of their separate interests, but they confirmed that NationsBank put up the largest share. An ITT spokeswoman said, "We're looking at it really as a passive investment that we hope to earn good returns on and that's about it." Mr. Nutt expects exposure of the products at those two institutions to boost sales. "What we get from them is their willingness to let these five firms present their products," Mr. Nutt said. Mr. Elliott said officials with NationsBank's investment management and trust unit helped him perform the due diligence leading up the purchase of the stake in AMG. AMG was formed at the end of 1993 with an equity infusion from a venture capital firm, TA Associates. Instead of running a single investment firm, Mr. Nutt created AMG to invest in money management firms with assets under management of $500 million to $1.5 billion. AMG owns 50% to 60% of the investment firms. One of its holdings is New York-based growth stock manager J.M. Hartwell, which runs the Keystone Hartwell load mutual funds. Another AMG holding is Skyline Asset Management, which has two no-load small-cap and mid-cap mutual funds distributed by Charles Schwab & Co. The other firms are Paradigm Capital Management, Renaissance Investment Management, and Systematic Financial Management.
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