Southeastern Wisconsin financial service industry news
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Johnson Controls to divest Global Workplace Solutions
September 30, 2014 08:52 AM
Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. today announced it plans to divest its Global Workplace Solutions division, which offers facilities, corporate real estate and energy management services.

Johnson Controls is divesting GWS to focus on the portions of its business that will drive long-term growth.

"The global facilities management outsourcing market is very healthy and continues to grow," said Alex Molinaroli, chairman and chief executive officer. "GWS is a strong business and a leader in its market with tremendous potential to grow. As we've focused on it this past year to understand what is needed to win long-term, it is clear that GWS is really an exclusively service-based business and not core to our manufacturing, engineering and product-based portfolio. This is a win-win all around."

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been secured as exclusive financial advisor in the divestiture. Johnson Controls is currently identifying buyers.

Global Workplace Solutions has been part of the company for more than two decades, and currently provides services for more than 1.8 billion square feet of corporate real estate. The business and Johnson Controls will continue to work together as supplier and customer.

"We have a strong reputation in the market, an incredibly talented team of employees, and a portfolio of long-standing high-quality clients," said John Murphy, vice president and president, Johnson Controls Global Workplace Solutions. "Our business has only just begun to realize its full potential. With a new owner we will have access to the capital and resources required to continue to strengthen our business and be a formidable force in the market."

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North Shore Educators Insurance Agency opens in Glendale
September 30, 2014 09:40 AM
A new insurance agency, North Shore Educators Insurance Agency, recently opened at 5464 N. Port Washington Road, Suite F, in Glendale.

North Shore is affiliated with insurance provider Meemic Insurance Co. It offers auto, home and umbrella coverage to teachers and other educational employees.

The agency is owned and operated by Rusty Bronson, who also has an independent agency, Bronson Insurance Services LLC, in the same building.

“My independent agency will continue to work and operate as it has for the last 15 years and now I have my new agency, Meemic,” Bronson said.

The two agency model allows Bronson to provide insurance to both education employees and others. As a result of the growth, Bronson has hired a part-time employee at each agency and plans to hire a full-time employee at North Shore soon.

Bronson spent 14 years as a Racine County Sheriff’s Deputy before becoming a corporate safety director for Manheim Auctions in Raymond. While living in Raymond, he served as a volunteer firefighter and licensed emergency medical technician. Through those experiences, he gained an appreciation for protecting and educating others, he said.

North Shore is also partnered with The Meemic Foundation, which provides grants to area schools.

“Our team is committed to supporting the education community by establishing long-term relationships, based on trust,” Bronson said. “Meemic has a tradition of above-and-beyond service, so helping educators understand their insurance is one of the many enjoyable parts of what we do. By opening the North Shore Educators Agency, we hope to share the protection that Meemic can bring to educators and their families in the Milwaukee area and surrounding communities.”

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HSA Bank to gain $1.3 billion of deposits in Chase deal
September 30, 2014 09:52 AM
Webster Financial Corp., parent company of Webster Bank N.A., has announced a deal to acquire the health savings account business from JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.

As a result, Sheboygan-based HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank, will take on the HSA accounts associated with the transaction. There are about 700,000 accounts with about $1.3 billion in deposits and $175 million in investments.

HSA Bank is one of the most experienced health savings account administrators in the country.

"This acquisition will solidify HSA Bank's position as a leading provider of health savings accounts with nearly $4 billion in assets under administration in more than 1.4 million accounts and will accelerate HSA Bank's strategy to increase penetration of the carrier and large employer markets," said James Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Webster. "HSAs are growing rapidly and transforming the way consumers use and pay for health care. HSAs attract long-duration transaction deposits which provide a stable source of funding for Webster's loan growth."

The purchase price was not disclosed. Webster plans to use about 60 percent of the deposits to pay down short-term borrowings, and invest the rest of the money in securities.

"As one of the pioneers in health savings accounts, HSA Bank has earned a reputation as an expert in the consumer directed health plan space and for the highest quality customer service,” said Chad Wilkins, president of HSA Bank. “We look forward to a seamless transition of deposits to HSA Bank.  We are confident that our new account holders, employers, and carriers will be delighted with the HSA Bank experience."

HSA Bank had $2.4 billion in assets under administration as of June 30.

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Advicent Solutions acquires Dutch financial software firm
September 30, 2014 09:45 AM
Wauwatosa-based Advicent Solutions has acquired Figlo, a Rotterdam, Netherlands-based developer of interactive software used for real-time communication between financial advisors and their clients.

Advicent, which has more than 250 employees, provides financial consultancy and planning software to banks, insurers and financial consultants. Its global headquarters is at 10700 W. Research Drive in Wauwatosa, and the Figlo head office will become its European headquarters.

Advicent is a portfolio company of Vista Equity Partners. It was previously the financial solutions division of Wauwatosa-based Zywave Inc., from which it split after Zywave’s insurance solutions division was sold in November 2013.

Figlo has more than 60 employees at two offices, who will all become Advicent employees, said Kirsten Porter, spokesperson for Advicent. The Figlo leadership will remain in their roles, with the chief executive officer reporting to the Advicent CEO, Phil Cunningham. The Figlo brand will be retained in the Netherlands.

The acquisition will expand Advicent’s global reach, upgrade its NaviPlan and Profiles products to include Figlo’s interactive technology, and position it to continue driving technological advances in financial planning.

“With our acquisition of Figlo, we will be able to individualize these new standards of communication for the financial plan itself to increase customer satisfaction and retention,” said Matthew Field, senior vice president of product and development at Advicent.

The companies did not disclose the transaction price.

“Technology is improving how clients receive financial advice and increasing the value they expect from their advisors,” Cunningham said. “The combination of Advicent and Figlo will provide advisors with a key competitive advantage and access to the most comprehensive and persuasive planning software available to support their recommendations, resulting in an entirely new level of instantaneous real-time interaction and communication with their clients.”

“We look forward to bringing advisors in the United States and Canada the innovation we forged in the Netherlands: a more interactive and impactful conversation to engage their clients in a uniquely compelling and turnkey way,” said Jenze Bosma, founder and president of Figlo.

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City to evaluate impact of Wisconsin Energy's acquisition plan
September 30, 2014 09:49 AM
The Milwaukee Common Council adopted a resolution directing various city departments to evaluate and report on the economic impact to the city of Wisconsin Energy Corp.'s proposed acquisition of Integrys Energy Group so the city can determine whether or not to oppose the transaction.
Authored by Alderman Robert Bauman, chair of the Council’s Public Works Committee, the resolution directs the Department of Administration-Budget and Management Division and the Office of Environmental Sustainability, in conjunction with the City Attorney’s Office and the Department of Public Works, to evaluate and report on the economic impact of the proposed Integrys acquisition.

On June 23, the parent company of Milwaukee-based We Energies announced that it has agreed to buy Integrys Energy Group, the Chicago-based parent company of Green Bay-based utility Wisconsin Public Service Corp. If approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, as well as anti-trust regulators and the shareholders of We Energies and Integrys, the transaction could be approved by summer 2015.

Bauman, whose district includes the downtown headquarters of We Energies, said the utility has been mum about whether it will move its headquarters out of downtown Milwaukee if the acquisition is approved.

“Very simply it is in the best interest of the City of Milwaukee that the impact of the proposed acquisition be evaluated, including its effects on the city, energy customers, utility rates and possible job and employment impacts,” he said.

If approved, the combined company will create the eighth-largest natural gas distribution company in America, with customers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota and nearly 71,000 miles of electric distribution lines and more than 44,000 miles of gas transmission and distribution lines.

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Cassidy Turley to be merged into DTZ
September 30, 2014 09:55 AM
Washington, D.C.-based Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate services provider whose Milwaukee affiliate is Cassidy Turley Barry, announced that it has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of DTZ Investment Holdings, backed by TPG, PAG Asia Capital and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (the consortium that agreed to acquire DTZ), to sell 100 percent of the equity interests of Cassidy Turley.

The consortium’s acquisition of DTZ is currently scheduled to close around Oct. 31. The acquisition of Cassidy Turley is expected to close on Dec. 31.

The combination of Cassidy Turley and DTZ, which will retain the DTZ brand, will create a global commercial real estate services firm with revenues of more than $2.9 billion and more than 28,200 total employees.

Cassidy Turley Barry president James T. Barry III declined to comment on the DTZ deal and how it will impact his firm, which is one of the oldest commercial real estate brokerages in Milwaukee. The firm was affiliated with Colliers International before prior to Cassidy Turley in 2010.

“Following a period of intensive mutual due diligence, we are confident that this combination is an excellent cultural fit as well as an opportunity to partner with a global brand,” said Joseph Stettinius, Jr., Cassidy Turley chief executive officer.

“The consortium is very pleased that DTZ Investment Holdings affiliate has reached an agreement to acquire Cassidy Turley after closing of the DTZ transaction. Cassidy Turley is a leading real estate services business in the U.S. and will complement DTZ's existing very strong businesses in Asia and Europe as well as DTZ's existing U.S. businesses," said Ben Gray, managing partner of Asia for TPG.

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New hires and promotions
September 30, 2014 09:43 AM

Rick Busalacchi has been named loan originator for North Shore Bank’s central region. Busalacchi has more than 20 years of mortgage lending experience. He will provide customers in southeastern Wisconsin with residential mortgage loans.

David Mancl has been hired as an organizational development consultant at Bank Mutual in Brown Deer. Mancl has more than seven years of human resources and organizational development experience, most recently as an organizational development consultant at Briggs & Stratton Corp. He will be responsible for supporting initiatives that focus on leadership development, employee onboarding, performance management and employee engagement. Mancl holds a bachelor’s in industrial organizational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Joseph Wells has been named senior vice president and business development officer on the commercial banking team at Wells Fargo & Co. in Milwaukee. Wells has more than 10 years of experience in banking, most recently as director of loan originations in Wells Fargo’s capital finance group. He will serve privately held companies with annual revenues of $20 million or more in the Milwaukee and Madison markets. Wells holds a bachelor’s in finance from Southern Methodist University.

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Molly Dill This exclusive news bulletin is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Molly Dill. This bulletin is published every Tuesday morning. Send financial services industry news and tips to or call her at (414) 336-7144.

Additional Resources

» Wisconsin Association of Accountants
» Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants
» Wisconsin Association for Financial Professionals

Financial Institutions

» Wisconsin Bankers Association
» The Wisconsin Credit Union League
» Community Bankers of Wisconsin
» Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association

Financial Planning

» Financial Planning Association of Southern Wisconsin
» National Association of Personal Financial Advisors


» Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin
» Wisconsin Association of Mutual Insurance Companies

Mergers & Acquisitions

» Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries
» Association for Corporate Growth - Wisconsin
» Turnaround Management Association - Chicago/Midwest

Other Resources

» Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
» Wisconsin Government Finance Officers Association

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