Guardian Buys Stake in West Coast Money Manager

May 18, 2006 ( - The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and RS Investments announced that the New York-based insurer will acquire a 65% interest in RS, a privately held San Francisco investment management firm specializing in growth and value mutual funds and institutional accounts.

With Guardian’s focus on core equity and fixed income products and RS’s expertise in growth and value products, a combined mutual fund family will include a more diversified range of funds than either company currently offers, the firms said in the announcement.  The combination will raise RS’s assets under management to over $17 billion, from approximately $11.8 billion today. 

The transaction is subject to approval by the board and shareholders of the RS mutual funds, as well as regulators.  Once the transaction is approved, RS will operate as an independent subsidiary of Guardian, under the leadership of CEO Terry Otton and the existing management team. 

The firm will maintain its current operations and there will be no changes to the RS portfolio management teams.  The two companies also intend to merge all Guardian-sponsored funds into the RS mutual fund family later this year, subject to the approval of the board of trustees of both fund families and the shareholders of the Guardian-sponsored funds. 

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