PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TINTON FALLS, NJ, March 16, 2022 — World Insurance Associates LLC (World), announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Pensionmark Financial Group (Pensionmark), a leading retirement and financial planning registered investment advisor supporting more than $80 billion in assets across its network. The transaction includes Pensionmark’s Advisor Support Platform, the Pensionmark Financial Group registered investment advisor and the Pensionmark Securities broker-dealer. For more than 30 years, Pensionmark has been serving its employer and individual investor clients via its network of 300+ top retirement plan specialists, financial advisors and staff. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, Pensionmark has more than 65 locations in the U.S. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Pensionmark has distinguished itself in the financial advisory field through its unique support platform for financial advisors, grounded in a scalable model that leverages some of the best people and technology in the industry. Pensionmark provides its advisors and their clients with a boutique experience combined with the strength and resources of a large national firm. The firm’s advisors work solely for their clients and the firm does not accept soft dollar payments, mitigating conflicts of interest common in the industry.
In conjunction with the acquisition, many existing Pensionmark advisors will become equity owners in World, which will enable them to participate in the future stock price appreciation of the combined business. Pensionmark intends to leverage its reputation as a firm that can consistently attract and retain the industry’s premier financial advisors together with World’s significant resources to accelerate its recruiting for both retirement and wealth advisors.
“Pensionmark is a natural fit with World since we both have the same value proposition for our clients and partners—provide a quality personal experience combined with large-scale resources,” said Rich Eknoian, World’s Chief Executive Officer. “The synergies between our two firms are undeniable. I am delighted to welcome the Pensionmark team to World and look forward to offering our clients and our acquisition partners an unparalleled experience.”
“When we developed our advisor transaction model, we intentionally created a unique dynamic where an advisor could become an equity partner of a larger collective while maintaining ownership of their business,” said Troy Hammond, Chief Executive Officer of Pensionmark. “When entertaining our acquisition partner, we sought a firm that was committed to enhancing our platform, accelerating our growth and maintaining the team and culture that makes Pensionmark special. I know World is exactly that partner and I look forward to an exciting future for our clients and advisors.”
“As Pensionmark’s business development leader, it was important to me that our new partner be growth-minded and offer a suite of complementary verticals including employee benefits, business insurance, payroll and human resources solutions,” said Michael Woods, President of Pensionmark. “Employers are looking for our advisors to deliver more than just financial advice. The ability to provide top-tier solutions for all our clients’ needs will prove to be invaluable for our clients’ growth, our advisors’ growth, and our own growth.”
Moving forward, Troy Hammond will lead all of the financial services initiatives for World to continue to enhance World’s leading suite of client offerings. He and the Pensionmark advisors will partner closely with Jennifer Barton of World’s employee benefits practice to offer a comprehensive total rewards solution for employers.
Ropes & Gray and Steckler Wayne Cochran Cherry provided legal counsel to World. Ardea Partners LP served as the exclusive financial advisor to Pensionmark, and Alston & Bird LLP provided legal counsel to Pensionmark. Wise Rhino Group provided advisory support to Pensionmark branch offices.
About World Insurance Associates LLC
World Insurance Associates LLC (World) is a nationally ranked, full-service insurance brokerage providing individuals and businesses with top products and services across personal and commercial insurance lines, employee benefits, retirement and financial services, and human capital management solutions. Since its founding in 2011, World has completed 140 acquisitions and serves its customers from 170 offices across the United States. World is a Top-100 U.S. Broker, ranked #2 on the Fastest Growing Brokers list by Business Insurance, and is a Top-50 ranked personal lines agency by Insurance Journal. For more information, please visit www.worldinsurance.com.
About Pensionmark Financial Group
The Pensionmark Financial Group network represents more than 320 advisors and staff across 65 U.S. locations with more than 4,000 retirement plan clients. The Pensionmark network of retirement specialists includes defined contribution, defined benefit, terminal funding, not-for-profit, wealth management and executive/deferred compensation specialists. As of December 31, 2020, the Pensionmark network of advisors and firms collectively provides support to over $80 billion in assets across a variety of channels, including investment management and retirement plan consulting services. This includes regulatory assets under management of more than $24 billion. For more information, please visit www.pensionmark.com.
About Pensionmark’s Advisor Support Program (ASP)
Pensionmark’s Advisor Support Program provides its affiliates a full-service suite of support services creating the foundation to position their practices for long-term growth without losing the spirit of independence. Advisors benefit from Pensionmark’s size, strength, and centralized service model with time-tested reliability in investment analytics, due diligence monitoring, plan sponsor and participant education services and compliance support.