Roulston & Co. Investment Management and The Hickory Group, two investment advisors based in Cleveland, will merge, the companies announced last week. Roulston & Company Investment Management is the advisor to the Roulston family of mutual funds.

Scott Roulston, CEO of Roulston, will become the CEO of the merged organization. Paul Abbey, Hickory's founder, will become senior managing director and chairman of the new firm's investment committee, and Kenneth Coleman, Roulston's COO, will retain that title for the new firm.

The resulting firm will have more than $800 million in assets under management and will offer proprietary mutual funds, investment portfolio and wealth management, and financial planning services.

The two investment managers complement each other because Roulston offers mutual funds and Hickory offers financial planning services, but neither company offered both, according to Roulston. Besides an increased range of products, cross-selling opportunities created from the combined group of clients and the increased economies of scale made the merger attractive, Roulston said. Both companies also wanted to add depth to their investment teams, he said.

The merged organization, for which there is no name yet, will begin operating in October 2001, pending regulatory approvals. The company will be located at Roulston's current headquarters in Cleveland.

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