Having gone into bankruptcy, Financial Research Corp. is now being evaluated by Strategic Insight parent Asset International for potential purchase.

Asset International, however, is only interested in purchasing certain FRC research products: those covering 529 college savings plans, alternative investments, target-date funds, industry assets under management by company and distribution channel, sub-advised funds and its “Monitor” research.

Two large pieces of FRC’s business, retirement planning and variable annuities, are not part of the discussions.

Asset International, through its SI unit, has said it is interested in hiring a number of FRC employees. While SI is based in New York, Asset International has an office in Boston near FRC's headquarters. The firm is working out the details as bankruptcy proceedings are handled at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts over the next few weeks.

FRC has changed hands a number of times in recent years. The research company was founded by Neil Bathon more than 20 years ago. He sold the firm to BISYS in 2001, which then sold it to Citigroup. Citi subsequently sold FRC to private equity firm Mercatus in 2008, which sold it to turnaround specialist AlixPartners over the summer. FRC Chairman Bob Hedges along with other private investors purchased a controlling interest in the company shortly after.

Court documents show that FRC has between 50 and 99 creditors, $500,001 to $1 million in assets and somewhere between $1 million and $10 million in liabilities.

-- This article first appeared on Money Management Executive.



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