Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc., a division of Western-Southern Enterprise, said Friday that it had agreed to buy the asset management and mutual fund unit of Countrywide Credit Industries Inc.

Countrywide, the largest independent home lender, bought the mutual fund company, which was then called Leshner Financial Group, two years ago, and renamed it Countrywide Financial Services Inc.

As of May 31 the unit had $1.3 billion in assets under management and $15.4 billion in assets under administration. The deal brings Western-Southern's total assets under management to over $20 billion.

In a press statement, Countrywide's chairman, Angelo R. Mozilo, said running a proprietary family of funds was "no longer consistent" with his company's strategy. He said Countrywide aims to give customers more choices by forging alliances with multiple providers.

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