Another insurance broker has plunged into the retirement plan business to leverage what it sees as natural synergies between employee health-care benefits and workplace 401(k) plans.
The latest entrant — Atlanta-based benefits broker OneDigital Health and Benefits Inc. — on Feb. 4 announced the acquisition of $45 billion registered investment adviser Resources Investment Advisors LLC and a slew of retirement adviser firms that were either affiliated with the RIA or became affiliated after they were bought. In total, the firms, which include such well-known retirement shops as Cafaro Greenleaf and Chepenik Financial represent more than $41 billion in assets under advisement.
The move is OneDigital's first major foray into the retirement plan and wealth management business. For the past 20 years, the company has been busy building what it refers to as an "employee-benefits only" operation, brokering health insurance plans and other employee benefits for more than 50,000 employers nationwide, but it now wants to expand into the business of retirement plans, said Mike Sullivan, OneDigital's co-founder and chief growth officer.
"This is our push into the marketplace," he said of the company's "initial collection of deals" in the retirement arena.
Mr. Sullivan declined to say how much OneDigital paid for the acquisitions.
The growing connection between health and financial wellness in the minds of many employers is driving the company's acquisition spree. "The market is asking for a more holistic and more integrated approach to health insurance and retirement," Mr. Sullivan said. "We're making a significant move into the retirement space because our employers are asking for it."
The acquisitions bring together some of the largest retirement adviser firms in the country, giving OneDigital the retirement expertise it is looking to offer clients.
In addition to Resources Investment Advisors, an Overland Park, Kan.-based firm that supports independent financial advisers focused on corporate retirement plans, OneDigital bought 10 benefits and retirement advisory firms — Bukaty Companies Financial Services, 401k Advisors Intermountain, Cafaro Greenleaf, Capstone Advisory Group LLC, Chepenik, SHA Retirement Group, Strategic Retirement Group Inc., Teros Advisors, i2i Benefits and Insurance Services LLC — and the remaining retirement business of Lincoln Insurance Services, which it initially acquired in 2017.
It also bought the San Diego-based adviser practice of Fulcrum Partners LLC and three California-based adviser practices of Retirement Benefits Group.