NEW YORK The value of mergers and acquisitions among investment management companies, including mutual funds, has increased nearly seven-fold in the past eight years and it is expected to continue to grow at a robust pace.

The number of deals grew from 26, worth $800 million in 1990 to 59, valued at $5.4 billion in 1998, according to Putnam, Lovell, de Guardiola & Thornton, a New York investment banking firm that specializes in the investment management industry.

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