Virtus Investment Partners is buying a 24% stake in Kleinwort Benson Investors International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kleinwort Benson Investors, which provides specialized equity strategies primarily to institutional investors.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The deal is expected to be completed early in 2013.

Kleinwort Benson currently subadvises the Virtus Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund, an open-end mutual fund that Virtus launched in last September.

Sean Hawkshaw, chief executive officer of Kleinwort Benson Investors, said that Virtus' multi-boutique model and its distribution position in the U.S. retail market were important considerations in his firm’s decision to partner up with the multi-manager asset management business.

"When we considered further growth opportunities for KBII, we looked to partner with a company that has a proven track record in retail distribution, which Virtus has clearly demonstrated," he said, in a statement.

KBII managed $979 million of assets for North American clients of December 31, 2012.

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