Chicago-based Nuveen Investments said Wednesday it saw a 20% increase in assets under management from a year ago, as the company set a record for yearly income with $144 million.

Fourth-quarter profits were up seven cents from 35 cents last year to 42 cents a share this year. The increase was in line with analysts’ estimates, which pegged earnings at 41 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial First Call.

Not shockingly, Chairman Tim Schwertfeger said, "We are very pleased with the consistency of our growth and the quality of our earnings as we report our 9th consecutive year of record earnings."

Schwertfeger attributed the impressive numbers, including a new company record in gross sales of $18.1 million, to the success of both equity and fixed income products. He added that "all product lines" performed well in 2003.

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