Putnam Investments made a play this week to acquire an additional 30% of institutional money manager PanAgora Asset Management from Nippon Life Insurance Co., Reuters reports. The deal, in which details were not released, raises Putnam's holdings in PanAgora to 80%. William Poutsiaka, who is president and chief executive at PanAgora and has been tapped to become chairman, said the deal provides sorely needed distribution to exploit growing demand for quantitative institutional management, the firm's specialty. As a result of the deal Eric Sorenson, CIO of Putnam's structured equity investments, will become PanAgora's new CEO. Putnam, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Cos., became a partial owner in 1997 of PanAgora, which currently manages $13 billion.

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