BankBoston Corp. last week closed its first private equity fund designed for clients of its private bank.

Private Equity Portfolio Fund, which invests in funds managed by outside firms, shut its doors to new investors with $150 million under management.

BancBoston Capital had previously limited its business to managing its parent company's direct investments in private companies and in funds managed by other equity firms.

Some 20 to 25 of those firms will be hired to manage the private equity fund. They include Baring Capital and Legal & General Ventures, both of London; Harvest Partners and Kelso Investment Associates, both of New York; and Thomas H. Lee Co. and Summit Partners, both of Boston.

The fund's 175 investors each invested at least the minimum subscription of $500,000. The clients-74% of whom are individuals-cannot redeem shares of the fund for at least 10 years.

Frederick M. Fritz, president of BancBoston Capital, said BankBoston's private banking clients asked for a private equity fund. "Many of the bank's high-net-worth clients who heretofore did not have direct access to this asset class" wanted to get into private equity, he said.

Mr. Fritz added that the fund of funds minimum is more easily accessible than the "low seven figures" typically demanded by private equity managers.

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