After 27 years, the Calamos family decided to share the fruits of their labor by taking the firm public. Money manager Calamos Asset Management has set the terms of its initial public offering at 18 million Class A shares with an estimated price range of $15.50 to $17.50 a share.

"The question that a lot of people have had with any deal like this is who is getting the benefit of the money?" said David Menlow, president and founder of a research firm headquartered in Milburn, N.J. "This is a very closely controlled partnership. They're just allowing new investors to come into the fold through the subsidiary."

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