In a final round of bidding for the acquisition of Zurich Scudder, Deutshe Bank has emerged as the frontrunner in the negotiations, which involve two other financial companies, according to a source close to the matter. A deal will be announced in mid-September, the source said. The other bidders include Amvescap Plc, and First Union Bank.

In April, Zurich Scudder hired Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Goldman Sachs to conduct a search for strategic partners, said Joan Gallagher, a spokeswoman with the company. She declined further comment.

Zurich Scudder, the U.S. asset management arm of Zurich Financial, held $370 billion in assets at the end of last year, with $117.4 billion in fund assets, according to the company.

The company’s fund business has struggled to attract assets and establish itself as a top player in the fund industry. Last year, the firm stopped selling funds no-load and consolidated roughly half of its lineup in an effort to cut expenses.

Zurich Scudder is the combination of the Kemper Corporation and Scudder, Clark & Stevens, both of which Zurich Financial acquired in the mid 90s.

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