Pioneer Investments of Boston is acquiring yet another asset management firm. But this time, rather than purchasing another mutual fund company or fund family, Pioneer will acquire Vanderbilt Capital Advisors of New York, an investment firm that specializes in separately managed fixed-income strategies and structured finance products.

Vanderbilt is particularly well known for its collateralized debt obligation (CDO) products, which securitize pools of debt assets such as loans or bonds. Interests in these pooled products are then parsed out and sold predominantly to institutional investors. Vanderbilt, which up until now has been fiercely independent and employee owned, manages a total of $13 billion, of which $6.6 billion is in CDOs that combine asset-backed securities, according to Standard & Poor's. That makes Vanderbilt the eighth-largest CDO manager overall and the fifth largest in terms of managing asset-backed securities CDOs (see accompanying chart).

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