Marx L. Cazenave, chairman and founder of Progress Investment Management, likely is working on a deal to buy back the company from its new parent, FleetBoston Financial.
Multiple industry sources with knowledge of the situation, who declined to be identified, confirmed that Progress executives are at minimum discussing their options with Fleet management. Thomas Herndon, executive director of the $106 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, confirmed that Progress executives told Florida staff they are exploring options after being acquired by Fleet, including a buyback.
Fleet bought Progress parent company, Liberty Financial Cos., for $1 billion in a deal that closed Nov. 1. Liberty acquired Progress in August 1998 for $147.5 million.
Neither Mr. Cazenave nor Thurman White Jr., Progress president, returned calls. Keith Banks, CEO of Fleet Asset Management, the subsidiary of which Progress and other Liberty subsidiaries are now a part, also did not return calls. Charles Salmans, FleetBoston spokesman, said the company "does not comment as a matter of policy on rumors of acquisition or divestiture.
Progress has about $4 billion under management, mainly for institutional clients in manager-of-managers programs that focus on emerging and minority-owned managers.