WORN OUT BY 13 MONTHS OF repeatedly dashed hopes, Kemper's shareholders cheered when an investment partnership led by Zurich Insurance on Apr. 11 ended the mutual-fund and insurance company's tortuous search for a buyer. Zurich's $49.50-per-share deal is well below the bids Kemper commanded just a year ago. But after General Electric's $60 offer slipped through Kemper's fingers and Conseco's $67 deal collapsed amid financing woes, no one expected a rich payoff. Kemper stock had lolled at 40 for weeks before the Zurich deal sent it to 45 1/2 by Apr. 12.

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