NEW YORK, NY (November 3, 2009) – Lightyear Capital LLC ("Lightyear"), a New York-based private equity firm focused on financial services investing, today announced that an affiliate of Lightyear Fund II, L.P. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the ING Advisors Network and three of ING Advisors Network’s five broker-dealers, including: Financial Network Investment Corporation ("Financial Network"), Multi-Financial Securities Corporation ("Multi-Financial") and PrimeVest Financial Services Inc. ("PrimeVest"). Valerie Brown, Chief Executive Officer of ING Advisors Network, will remain in her position and continue to lead the business post acquisition.
"This is a great investment for Lightyear," said Donald B. Marron, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lightyear. "We have decades of experience and leadership in the broker-dealer industry and recognize the current and future potential of this network of broker-dealers. Financial Network, Multi-Financial and PrimeVest are excellent organizations with teams of highly-motivated and talented advisors."
Mark Vassallo, Managing Partner of Lightyear, stated, "We believe there is a great opportunity for these three firms going forward as an independent network and are committed to growing the business. We are seeing more customers and advisors migrate toward smaller, more nimble and personalized brokerage firms, and we believe these three businesses will benefit from this trend."
Operating independently under the umbrella of ING Advisors Network, Financial Network, Multi-Financial and PrimeVest had combined gross revenues for the twelve months ending June 30, 2009 of approximately $653 million with account assets of $70.2 billion and roughly 5,700 representatives as of June 30, 2009.
"As CEO of ING Advisors Network, Valerie Brown has done an excellent job in recruiting and retaining top talent and building a strong culture of customer service. We are pleased that Valerie and her team will continue to lead this effort," added Stewart Gross, Managing Director of Lightyear."
"Lightyear has a long and successful track record investing in the financial services industry and particularly significant experience in the broker-dealer space. We are excited to have such a strong investment partner to help us grow our business,” said Valerie Brown. “Lightyear recognizes the value of independent advice and shares our commitment to building the highest quality firm in the independent broker-dealer industry."
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010, is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP represented Lightyear in the transaction.
ABOUT LIGHTYEAR CAPITAL
Lightyear is a private equity investment firm providing buyout and growth capital to companies in the financial services industry. Based in New York, Lightyear, through its affiliated funds, has managed approximately $3 billion of committed capital with investments across the financial services spectrum, including asset management, banking, brokerage, financial technology, insurance, leasing, related business services, and other sectors within financial services. Lightyear brings unique strengths and discipline to its investment process, as well as operating, transaction, and strategic management experience, along with significant contacts and resources beyond capital. The senior team of professionals each has approximately 25 years of financial services-related experience and includes Chris Casciato, David Cynn, David Glenn, Stewart Gross, Thierry Ho, Donald Marron, Richard Sterne, and Mark Vassallo.
For more information on Lightyear, please visit www.lycap.com.
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million residential, corporate and institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 120,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.
In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves over 29 million customers across the nation.
For more information, visit www.ing.com.
For Lightyear Capital:
Sloane & Company
Amanda Kiely, 212-446-1896
Elliot Sloane, 212-446-1860