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Virtus Completes Retail Distribution Expansion

HARTFORD, Conn., March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Virtus Investment Partners (NASDAQ: VRTS), which operates a multi-manager asset management business, today announced that it has completed the staffing of a team of sales professionals who are focused on distributing the company's retail investment products, including mutual funds and separately managed accounts, in the independent broker-dealer and registered investment advisor (RIA) channels.

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Virtus announced plans on November 28, 2011 to expand its retail distribution team in order to focus additional resources on RIAs and independent advisors, who represent a growing percentage of the intermediary market, according Paul Cahill, national sales manager and head of the new Independent-RIA sales division.  "This new team of six regional directors adds to the resources who are focused on national broker-dealer and regional firms, and builds on Virtus' sales success." Cahill said.  In 2011, Virtus' sales of long-term open-end mutual funds from all channels more than doubled to $9.5 billion from $4.5 billion in 2010.

"The strength of our investment products and the reputation of the Virtus brand helped us attract these experienced sales professionals who understand the specific needs of both independent financial advisors and registered investment advisors," Cahill said.  "We are thrilled to start 2012 with a high caliber of support for an important and growing area of our business."

The wholesalers for the new Independent-RIA team, by territory, are:

NortheastJason Caruso of Avon, CT, joined as regional director in the Northeast. He has wholesaled in the New England region for more than nine years, the last six years of which were with DWS/Deutsche Bank. He previously spent more than four years with Franklin Templeton Investments. Caruso studied at Northeastern University and began his financial services career in 1999.

Mid-AtlanticJames Warfield, based in Charlotte, NC, joined Virtus as regional director covering the Mid-Atlantic states. Warfield previously represented several firms, including Gabelli Asset Management, UBS Global Asset Management, Liberty Funds, and Franklin Templeton. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1989.

SoutheastScott Chriske of Jupiter, FL, was hired as regional director for the Southeast. Chriske has nearly 20 years of wholesaling experience, including 15 years at Van Kampen Investments. He also was a wholesaler for DWS Investments and Wells Fargo/Evergreen Investments. He holds a B.S. in economics from Illinois State University and began his career in the financial services industry in 1993.

MidwestScott Casselberry of Amery, WI, will support independent advisors and RIAs in the Midwest. Casselberry joined Virtus as regional director in 2008 and previously served both wirehouse and independent advisors in Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Prior to Virtus, he wholesaled for AIG SunAmerica. Casselbery earned a B.S. in business economics from the University of Minnesota and began his career in the financial services industry in 1988.

SouthwestSamuel Rothschild, based in Dallas, was promoted from internal sales consultant to regional director for the Southwest. Prior to joining Virtus in 2010, Rothschild was a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and previously a research analyst at UBS. He earned a B.S. in marketing from Central Connecticut State University and started in the financial services industry in 2005.

Pacific WestJames Chun of Ladera Ranch, CA, was hired as regional director for the Pacific West territory. Prior to joining Virtus, Chun was a wholesaler with Pioneer Funds for five years. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and was a field artillery captain in the U.S. Army for five years. He began his career in the financial services industry in 2007.

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