John Hancock acquiring 1,100 Transamerica advisers

Transamerica will still have 3,300 affiliated reps

Nov 3, 2015 @ 1:31 pm

By Bruce Kelly

John Hancock Financial Network Inc. said Tuesday it was acquiring up to 1,100 advisers from Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. Those advisers represent roughly one-quarter of those currently affiliated with Transamerica.

Upon the close of the transaction, the advisers will become affiliated with Signator Investors Inc., the independent broker-dealer of John Hancock Financial Network.

Transamerica is not exiting the independent broker-dealer space. After the close of the acquisition, anticipated in the next six months, Transamerica will still have more than 3,000 affiliated advisers.

In statements, the two companies said the deal was designed to allow John Hancock to acquire “certain assets” of Transamerica Financial Advisors, including 90 home office staff members who will now work for Signator.

The remaining Transamerica advisers are affiliated with World Financial Group, a financial services marketing and distribution organization controlled by Transamerica.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Transamerica advisers who will move to Signator are independent contractors who are duly registered, registered reps and investment advisers, said Melissa Berczuk, a spokeswoman for John Hancock.

She said the company was not stating the amount of assets those advisers managed. She added, however, that “they will significantly increase Signator's total assets both in the broker dealer and the investment advisory platform.”

According to the 2014 InvestmentNews survey of independent broker-dealers, Signator Investors and Transamerica Financial Advisors had, respectively, 1,374 and 5,103 registered representatives and advisers. Signator produced $297.6 million in total revenue last year while Transamerica Financial Advisors produced $279.9 million, according to the survey.

After a tepid first half of 2015, mergers-and-acquisition activity in the independent broker-dealer industry has heated up.

InvestmentNews in September reported that Next Financial Group Inc. was on the block. And last month, in the largest independent broker-dealer acquisition of the year, H.D. Vest Financial Services Inc., said it was being acquired by Blucora Inc., a company that focuses on Internet businesses, for $580 million.

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