Hartford officials confirmed Tuesday that the company is selling independent broker-dealer network Woodbury Financial Services to American International Group Inc.'s Advisor Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The transaction is expected to generate a modest gain for The Hartford and have no material impact to The Hartford's 2013 earnings. The agreement is expected to close by the end of 2012, subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. Woodbury Financial Services is a broker-dealer with approximately 1,400 independent representatives nationwide and 200 home office employees.
"Today's agreement is the first of three planned transactions announced in March as part of The Hartford's strategic decision to focus on its property and casualty, group benefits and mutual funds businesses," said Liam E. McGee, chairman and president of The Hartford.
"Woodbury Financial is one of the most respected broker-dealers in the United States," McGee continued. "The firm will transition to a buyer who recognizes the strengths of the business and the talent of the people, and is committed to the independent financial advisor."
The sales of The Hartford's Individual Life and Retirement Plans business is proceeding as expected, The Hartford officials said.
"We are excited to add Woodbury Financial Services, a well-respected broker-dealer with a distinct brand, to Advisor Group," said Advisor Group's Chief Executive Officer Larry Roth. "We look forward to working with Woodbury Financial's management team to help its advisors grow their practices and are confident that Woodbury Financial will add value to Advisor Group's broker-dealer network and strategic partners."
Patrick H. McEvoy will continue to serve as Woodbury Financial Services president and CEO, and the firm will operate as one of four independent broker-dealers in the Advisor Group network.
Advisor Group officials said the addition of Woodbury Financial within Advisor Group will benefit advisors from all four broker-dealers, as well as Woodbury Financial's customers, as the network shares retirement planning best practices, technologies and business-building strategies.
McEvoy will continue to work with his senior management team, field force and home office staff to support and grow the Woodbury Financial business from its Minnesota headquarters. The change in ownership will cause no disruption for Woodbury's registered representatives, who can continue to operate under the Woodbury Financial brand.