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Bank Of America Sells Unit

Bank of America shares rose Friday after it said it will sell Robertson Stephens Investment Management to a group of investors led by senior management of the unit.

Bank of America (BAC) said it expects to complete the sale in the first quarter of 1999. The terms of the sale and purchase price were not disclosed by the bank or purchasers.

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G. Randy Hecht, founder and current president and CEO of Robertson Stephens Investment Management, will serve as chairman and CEO of the new company.

"We pursued this management buyout because we strongly believe that returning to our roots as a private company with the same leadership team that founded the company in 1984 is the ideal ownership structure for our mutual fund shareholders," Hecht said in a statement.

Bank of America acquired Robertson, Stephens & Company in October 1997. Last August, Bank of America sold the investment banking operations of Robertson Stephens to BankBoston Corporation.

Robertson Stephens investment management currently has approximately $4 billion in assets under management, including almost $2 million in mutual funds.

Bank of America said the sale will not materially affect its earnings and excludes other units of its wealth management group, including Nations Funds.

Shares of Bank of America rose 1 1/4 to 62 13/16.

Written By Khanh T.L. Tran

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