Boston Advisors is breaking up a family. The Boston-based subsidiary of The Advest Group, recently purchased Babson-United Investment Advisors, a wealth management firm that specializes in managed accounts. The firm is a division of Watertown, Ma., Babson-United.

As of May, the new company will operate under the Boston Advisor name and manage more than $3.5 billion in assets, with 20 investment professionals among the combined staff.

"We need access to much larger capital resources to serve existing clients and to expand our capabilities," said Peter Meenan, president and chief executive of Babson-United Investment Advisors.

Babson-United will retain its stock-charting division, Securities Research Company .

The family founders of Babson-United, are relatives to the late David L. Babson, founder of the money management company, David L. Babson & Co., of Cambridge, Ma. Babson died in 1999.

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