SFA Holdings Inc., the parent company of the Strategic Financial Alliance Inc., has acquired MerCap Securities LLC, a Pennsylvania-based, privately held independent broker-dealer that deals primarily in insurance products, SFA announced Monday.

SFA is an independent, privately owned provider of brokerage and advisory services.

The deal will provide a way for the insurance agents at MerCap to become financial advisors, which in turn will help increase the ranks of advisors in the financial services industry as a whole at the same time it helps SFA grow, says Clive Slovin, CEO of SFA Holdings.

In many cases, financial advisory firms are growing by recruiting from other firms, Slovin says. The MerCap acquisition allows SFA to reach out to new partners in the insurance field while creating more advisors. Those MerCap employees who want to are encouraged to become advisors, he says.

SFA is primarily an advisor-owned organization, and MerCap employees will have an opportunity to become stockholders, Slovin says. MerCap will continue to operate under its own name. It has 90 registered representatives in 20 states, with a primary concentration in the Northeast. It will continue to be led by President and CEO Dale Pope. Terms of the deal were not released.

SFA has approximately 150 independent advisors across the country with nearly $4 billion in brokerage and advisory assets.