Investment bank Piper Jaffray Companies (NYSE: PJC) said on Friday that it agreed to acquire Fiduciary Asset Management, LLC (FAMCO) for about $66 million in cash, in a bid to enter the asset management business.

Piper Jaffray said in a statement it will enhance the business through additional product offerings, distribution capability and an expanded client base. FAMCO has approximately $9.0 billion of assets under management.

FAMCO has a talented, cohesive team of professionals who have produced competitive and consistent results for their clients since its inception, said Andrew Duff, CEO and chairman of Piper Jaffray. Its dedication to building long-lasting client relationships through placing its clients' interest first make it a strong cultural fit with Piper Jaffray.”

The company, which has 50 employees, will continue under the same management, Piper Jaffray said. FAMCO’s CEO, Charles Walbrant will report directly to Duff.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2007.

Shares of Piper Jaffray rose $1.62, or 2.6 percent to $65.21 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.