April 24, 2003 — Waddell & Reed Financial (WDR) entered into an agreement to manage about $2.1 billion in assets and purchase certain assets overseen by the Advantus Funds for about $26 million.

Advantus has a family of 11 retail mutual funds with approximately $525 million in assets. Securian Financial Group Inc. is the parent of Advantus Capital Management Inc., the current adviser of the Advantus Funds.

Waddell & Reed said it intends to merge the Advantus Funds into the Ivy Funds, a retail fund family for which Waddell & Reed also serves as investment adviser. Closing of these fund mergers are anticipated in November 2003.

Under deal, Advantus Capital Management will be retained as subadvisor on three current Advantus retail funds — including Advantus Real Estate Securities Fund/A (ARESX) and Advantus Mortgage Securities Fund/A (ADMSX) — that will become part of the Ivy Funds family.

“I suspect that what allowed Waddell & Reed to acquire the Advantus business is the Ivy Funds, which Waddell has also recently acquired,” said Louis Harvey, president of Dalbar Inc., a Boston-based mutual fund consulting firm. “Ivy’s management team is highly regarded in the industry, and I think Advantus wants to take advantage of that.”

Waddell & Reed will also become investment adviser for eight actively managed equity series funds of Advantus Series Fund, Inc., a fund family underlying variable annuity and other insurance products with actively managed stock assets of about $1.2 billion.

The strategic alliance also provides for Waddell & Reed to receive immediately “premier strategic partner” status in the Securian distribution system, including the Securian Financial Network (approximately 1,800 general agency registered representatives), Securian Financial Services (broker/dealer), and Securian Retirement Services (401(k)).