Ferris, Baker Watts Inc., a Washington-based brokerage firm, announced yesterday that it has agreed to form a partnership with a Washington investment manager to provide asset management services to clients of both companies.
Ferris, which has several divisions in its Baltimore offices, expects to complete the merger of its FBW Investment Management division with Marshfield Associates Inc. by March 1, the company said.
The partnership, to be called Marshfield Associates Ltd., would be led by Christopher M. Niemczewski and Samuel A. Mitchell, the principals of Marshfield. The venture would include Ferris' three investment professionals and the division's administrator and support staff, according to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer George M. Ferris Jr.
"This is one division that we're very anxious to build," Mr. Ferris said yesterday. He said he decided to seek a partnership with an outside company after Anthony Savetta, the head of Ferris' asset management business, became ill recently.
The Ferris division accounts for about 5 percent of company revenues, said Mr. Ferris, who added that he wants it to grow to 15 percent.
Marshfield's portfolios have earned a total return of 14.7 percent a year for the past three years, compared with 10.8 percent for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, according to Ferris.