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Financial Firms Tap Boston Group

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As Agency Reaches Agreement to Absorb R.I. Design Boutique
BOSTON-Boston Group last week won two accounts and announced a buyout of Magratten Wooley, a small design firm in Newport, R.I.
The Boston agency has been tapped for advertising and direct marketing services by New England Funds, a unit of The New England Investment Cos., following a review of undisclosed shops. The business had been with Trinity Communications in Boston, an agency that spun out of The New England's marketing department four years ago.
Trinity did not defend the business because the shop does not participate in pitches involving existing roster clients, said agency representative Traci Hammond. Trinity continues to work on other assignments for The New England, a diversified financial services and investment firm with more than $100 billion in assets under management.
New England Funds, which offers 23 mutual funds mostly through brokers, is expected to spend upward of $2 million next year through Boston Group on advertising and direct marketing efforts targeting investment professionals, said agency managing partner Mary Lou Pritchett.
Boston Group also has been named the first agency of record for Commercial Union Life Insurance in Quincy, Mass., a unit of Commercial Union Insurance of London, which was founded in 1696 and claims to be the world's oldest insurance firm in operation, Pritchett said.
The wins effectively replace the billings that left the agency when Invesco Funds Group of Denver moved its account to The Richards Group in Dallas two weeks ago, Pritchett said. "They really needed [an agency] in their own time zone," she added.
Separately, Boston Group's purchase of Magratten Wooley becomes official Jan. 1, Pritchett said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The two agencies have already been working together on several projects. Kathy Wooley Dutton, president of the design firm, will join Pritchett and Brendan Kelley as a managing director of Boston Group when the deal closes.
The five-person design firm will maintain its Newport office under the Boston Group name. Altogether, the shop will employ about 35 people when Magratten Wooley's staff is added, Pritchett said.
-with Sarah Jones