New Managers Brought on to Run Value Funds

Banc of America Capital Management has opted to hire a pair of value portfolio managers rather than acquire a value shop, according to company representatives. Lori Ensinger and Diane Sobin both come from New York-based Zurich Scudder.

Company spokesperson Richard Brown said that the firm had been exploring the possibility of an acquisition but decided instead to hire individual portfolio managers for economic reasons.

Indeed, the current economy has brought value into great demand at more than just the fund supermarkets; Bank of America hasn't been the only one shopping for value. Tech fund Kinetics Asset Management has been looking in that direction and Berger Funds has considered a similar move. John Hancock Funds has also had its eye on deep value.

The new portfolio managers allow Bank of America to develop internally manage value products, and Ensinger is anticipated to help develop new mid- and small-cap products.

'The hiring of Lori and Diane gives us the opportunity to roll out additional products in the value segment and add to our standing as one of the nation's leading investment management firms,' said Rob Gordon, co-chairman and chief marketing officer at Bank of America.

The pair will also take over management of the firm's value products not currently sub-advised by San Diego-based Brandes Investment Partners.

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