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Michael Fasciano remembers staying late a couple of years ago in his Chicago offices to help send out prospectuses for his small-cap blend

(FASCX)

Fasciano fund. He won't be doing that anymore.

On Monday New York money manager

Neuberger Berman

announced its purchase of Fasciano's modest money management firm and the struggling, $240 million Fasciano fund, which it will add to its product line as the

Neuberger Berman Fasciano

fund. Fasciano will continue to run the no-load fund he's managed since its 1987 inception.

The fund gives Neuberger Berman a middle ground between the small-cap growth

(NBMIX)

Millennium fund and the

(NBGEX)

Genesis fund, which the firm calls small-cap value and which

Morningstar

classifies as small-cap blend.

Fasciano typically focuses on small-cap stocks -- those with market caps below $2 billion -- and blends the value and growth investment styles. Value investors essentially hunt for bargains in the stock market, while growth investors typically pay steep prices for the fastest-growing companies they can find.

For Fasciano, the deal is probably a big payday -- the terms of the deal weren't disclosed -- and also a way to partner up with a bigger shop in a consolidating industry.

The fund's record is fairly weak. Fasciano trails more than 85% of his small-cap blend peers over the last one-, three-, five- and 10-year periods, according to Morningstar. This year the fund is down 8.9%, trailing 81% of small-cap blend funds.

Much of this damage may have been done last year when the steep inflows led to a fat cash position. In 1999 the fund posted a 6.2% gain, trailing its peers by more than 55 percentage points.