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Rating:Franklin, MFS Alums to Join Virtus' Board Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, November 17, 2008

Franklin, MFS Alums to Join Virtus' Board

News summary by MFWire's editors

Virtus Investment Partners, the asset management unit of Phoenix Companies, will have seven board members, including former Franklin Resources chief financial officer James Baio and MFS alum Edward Swan, when its spinoff is complete.

Phoenix expects that to occur by yearend.

"Even in these extraordinary market conditions, we believe the spin-off is in the best interest of our shareholders because it will allow Phoenix to maximize its distinct opportunities in the life and annuity markets and give Virtus the opportunity to demonstrate its inherent value as an asset management company," said Phoenix Companies chairman, president and CEO Dona Young.

Last Friday, Phoenix filed an amendment with the SEC relating to the proposed spin-off. The amendment, which Young described as an "important milestone," includes responses to SEC comments to the Form 10 Registration Statement’s Amendment No. 1 filing on September 10.

Company Press Release

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX - News) today announced that it intends to appoint six business leaders, all of whom have broad experience with the asset management industry, to serve as members of the board of directors of its asset management subsidiary, Virtus Investment Partners, Inc. following Virtus' planned spin-off to Phoenix’s stockholders.

"This filing marks another important milestone on our path to the spin-off. Even in these extraordinary market conditions, we believe the spin-off is in the best interest of our shareholders because it will allow Phoenix to maximize its distinct opportunities in the life and annuity markets and give Virtus the opportunity to demonstrate its inherent value as an asset management company,” said Dona D. Young, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Phoenix Companies.

Phoenix announced last month an investment in Virtus by Harris Bankcorp Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Bank of Montreal (TSX, NYSE: BMO - News News). It is expected that, upon completion of the transaction, Harris will have $45 million in convertible preferred stock, representing a 23 percent equity position in Virtus, and two representatives from BMO Financial Group, Harris’s parent, will be added to the Virtus board, in addition to the six individuals who were announced today.

"The investment by Harris gives us the advantage of having a financially secure minority investor with a strategic interest in the asset management industry and a long-term investment outlook," said George R. Aylward, president of Virtus.

Mr. Aylward also noted the extensive investment management background of the individuals who will be appointed to the board. “Virtus will benefit from the unique perspective of these individuals who collectively have decades of experience in the asset management industry. Several have been portfolio managers, and each individual has a strong business background. The future shareholders of Virtus are fortunate to be represented by these individuals, and I look forward to benefiting from each person’s expertise.”

The members of the board of Virtus will include:

* Mark C. Treanor of Maryland, formerly senior executive vice president, general counsel, and a member of the Operating Committee of Wachovia Corp. He previously specialized in banking litigation at private law firms. It is expected Mr. Treanor will serve as non-executive chairman;

* James R. Baio of California, formerly executive vice president and chief financial officer of Capmark Financial Group Inc., a private equity portfolio company. He previously was the CFO of Franklin Resources, the parent of Franklin Templeton Investments;

* Susan F. Cabrera of New York, formerly a partner and member of the Investment Committee of Capital Z Partners, a private equity investor. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Management and Organizations at Cornell University;

* Diane M. Coffey of New York, managing director of Peter J. Solomon Co., Ltd., an investment banking company, who previously was a communications director and portfolio manager at Dreyfus;

* Timothy A. Holt of Connecticut, who retired earlier this year as senior vice president and chief investment officer of Aetna, Inc., where he managed Aetna’s $20 billion general account portfolio; and

* Edward M. Swan, Jr. of Massachusetts, formerly the president of FIS Group, an asset management company for institutional investors. He previously worked at MFS Asset Management, UBS Asset Management, and Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management.

Mr. Aylward will also become a member of the board.

Phoenix expects to complete the spin-off later this year, pending final approval of the registration by the SEC. Investor meetings and other communications with the investment community are being planned after the Form 10 is declared effective. The Form 10 Registration Statement and information statement will be mailed to all stockholders prior to the spin-off. Stockholders are urged to read the registration statement when it becomes available.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Wachovia Capital Markets, LLC are acting as the company’s financial advisors in connection with the transaction. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal advisor.

About The Phoenix Companies, Inc.

With roots dating to 1851, The Phoenix Companies, Inc. (NYSE:PNX - News) helps individuals and institutions solve their often highly complex personal financial and business planning needs through its broad array of life insurance, annuities and investments. In 2007, Phoenix had annual revenues of $2.6 billion and total assets of $30.2 billion. For more information, visit www.phoenixwm.com.

About Virtus Investment Partners, Inc.

Virtus Investment Partners provides investment management products and services to individuals and institutions. It operates a multi-manager asset management business, comprising a number of individual affiliated managers, each with a distinct investment style, autonomous investment process and individual brand. Investors have an array of needs and Virtus Investment Partners offers a variety of investment styles and multiple disciplines to meet those needs. As of September 30, 2008, Virtus Investment Partners had $27.1 billion in assets under management. For more information, visit www.virtus.com.

Edited by: Armie Margaret Lee

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