CHICAGO -- Four executives of Springsted Inc. yesterday announced that they have purchased the St. Paul-based financial advisory firm.

The new owners of the firm are Kathleen A. Aho, Ronald W. Langness, David N. MacGillivray, and Bonnie C. Matson, who are all division directors at the firm, according to Langness.

Langness said that Richard Hawk, the former owner of the firm, offered Springsted employees the option to buy after being approached by several other interested buyers. Hawk also has owned several 501(c)(3) companies in the student loan guarantee area, including the Higher Education Assistance Foundation, Langness said.

"He felt it would be in the best interests of the firm if he offered it to employees of the firm," Langness said. He added that he could not disclose the terms of the sale.

Langness said the purchase will not affect Springsted's current operations.

"We don't anticipate any significant changes," he said. "The four partners are geared toward the same objectives of growth and quality of service."

He said the firm is expected to complete financial advisory work on 500 bond issues this year.

Robert D. Pulscher will continue to serve as president and chief executive officer of the firm, Langness said. Pulscher also will remain on the firm's board of directors along with Osmon R. Springsted, the firm's founder. Springsted sold the firm to a private investor in 1986, Langness said.

Springsted also has offices in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Washington D.C., and Overland Park, Kan. The firm has 53 employees.

Last year, Springsted served as a financial adviser on 409 bond issues totaling $2.8 billion, according to Securities Data Co.

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