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Virtus Investment Partners Announces Agreement to Acquire Rampart Investment Management

Firm specializes in customized options strategies

Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTS), which operates a multi-manager asset management business, today announced that Rampart Investment Management, a registered investment advisor that specializes in customized options strategies for institutional and high-net-worth clients, will become a wholly owned boutique asset management affiliate of Virtus. Since 1983, Rampart has provided systematic and disciplined options solutions to help their clients generate incremental yield, reduce downside risk and mitigate market volatility.

Rampart, a Boston-based, employee-owned investment manager with $1.4 billion under management, will continue to be led by co-founders Ronald M. Egalka, president and chief investment officer, and David R. Fraley, executive vice president, director of client services. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

As an affiliated partner of Virtus, Rampart will retain its brand, independent investment process, and its proprietary Rampart Options Management System (ROMS®) platform while leveraging Virtus' shared retail distribution and business support services. In addition to focusing on expanding Rampart's current client base, Virtus expects to use Rampart's options overlay capability within existing investment strategies and introduce it in new products.

"We have the highest regard for Ron, Dave and the company they have built, and we are excited about the capabilities that the Rampart team will bring to Virtus as an affiliated partner," said George R.Aylward, Virtus' president and chief executive officer.

Aylward noted that Rampart's client base includes high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors, markets that Virtus currently serves. "Rampart's proprietary ROMS platform offers a significant advantage for individual and institutional clients that require specialized options strategies to provide either incremental income, downside protection, or attractive risk-adjusted total return. Ron, Dave and their team have established Rampart as a leader in this important market niche, and we look forward to partnering with them to serve their existing clients and extend their distinctive strategies to other opportunities," he said.

"The opportunity to maintain our boutique culture, mathematically-driven investment processes and client service functions, combined with the benefits of Virtus' extensive distribution capabilities and business support model, were critical elements we considered when selecting the best long-term partner for Rampart," Egalka said. "Virtus offers distinct advantages for our team, including being a part of a company that shares our commitment to our clients."

Rampart's entire team will remain with the firm upon completion of the transaction, and the firm's senior leaders have entered into employment agreements with Virtus. The company will maintain its offices in Boston's Financial District.

Barrington Partners of Boston represented Rampart in the transaction. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The addition of Rampart is not expected to have a material impact on Virtus' earnings in the near term.