Pioneer Investments of Boston is tiptoeing into the separately managed account business through a brand-new phase of its year-old existing partnership with growth manager Oak Ridge Investments of Chicago.

Last Wednesday, Pioneer announced that it had acquired a minority ownership investment in Oak Ridge, essentially buying out the equity portion of the firm owned by one of the two founders, who is retiring. Under the arrangement, Pioneer acquired a 49% equity stake in the company for an undisclosed amount, with a further agreement for Pioneer to acquire another 11% stake two years from now, said Steven Graziano, executive vice president of strategic marketing at Pioneer. Oak Ridge employees own the 51% majority interest.

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