If the mainstream media were any indication, you'd think quantitative portfolio analysis would be to the mutual fund industry these days what technology stocks were in the late 1990s.

Although bubble-like enthusiasm is building, don't expect it to inflate overnight, experts say. And perhaps no recent industry development more accurately captures the nature of the "quant" upswing in the last few months than Federated Investors' acquisition of MDT Advisers, a relatively unknown stock picker in Cambridge, Mass.

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