The Hartford today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement
to sell Woodbury Financial Services to American International Group,
Inc. 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.
“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
The Hartford’s Chairman, President and CEO Liam E. McGee. “Woodbury
Financial is one of the most respected broker-dealers in the United
States. 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 process for Individual Life
and Retirement Plans is proceeding as expected.
“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 be operated as one of four
independent broker-dealers in the Advisor Group network. The inclusion
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.
“Woodbury Financial and Advisor Group are a natural fit, with
complementary business models and a shared view of providing an open
architecture platform for advisors within the independent broker-dealer
segment,” said McEvoy. “The firm and our registered reps are uniquely
positioned to provide the solutions many of today’s investors need and
we plan to leverage this expertise across the Advisor Group network.”
Woodbury Financial Services, a top 15 independent broker-dealer based in
Minnesota with approximately 1,400 registered representatives, was named
Broker-Dealer of the Year in 2006, 2009 and 2011 by Investment Advisor
magazine. The company received the award from among the nation’s largest
firms (over 1,000 registered representatives).
The Hartford's financial advisor was Deutsche Bank and its legal advisor
was Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.
About The Hartford
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) is a leading
provider of insurance and wealth management services for millions of
consumers and businesses worldwide. The Hartford is consistently
recognized for its superior service, its sustainability efforts and as
one of the world's most ethical companies. More information on the
company and its financial performance is available at www.thehartford.com.
About Woodbury Financial Services
Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of The Hartford
Financial Services Group, Inc. is a broker-dealer with approximately
1,400 independent representatives nationwide and 200 home office
employees. The firm is headquartered in Oakdale, Minn. For more
information, visit www.woodburyfinancial.com/about.
Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking
statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not
guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ
materially. Investors should consider the important risks and
uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important
risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our Quarterly Reports
on Form 10-Q, our 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other filings
we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no
obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.