Friess employees to buy back firm from AMG

Friess Associates, the adviser for the Brandywine mutual fund family, will become a 100% employee-owned firm after announcing its employees will buy the 70% stake owned by Affiliated Managers Group.

Terms were not disclosed. The deal is subject to the approval of the funds' shareholders, which is expected by September.

Friess had $1.7 billion in worldwide assets under management as of Dec. 31, of which $173 million is for institutional clients, according to Pensions & Investments data.

The firm manages the Brandywine, Brandywine Blue and Brandywine Advisors Midcap Growth funds. Assets in those funds will transfer to three new funds under the AMG Managers Trust fund series; Friess will be a subadviser to the funds, and the Brandywine name will remain on the funds, said Chris Aregood, Friess spokesman.

“At this point in time, we feel it's in the best interest of our firm and our clients for us to have 100% of the equity,” Mr. Aregood said. “While we believe the research capabilities responsible for our long-term track record will continue to deliver an ample supply of new and profitable investment ideas, we want more tools to attract and retain talent.”

AMG paid $241 million in cash in 2001 to buy a 51% stake in Friess, acquiring an additional 19% interest in 2004.