NU Online News Service, Jan. 5, 2005, 5:23 p.m. EST

A New England retirement plan services firm is merging with a competitor in the Southeast.[@@]

GoldK Inc., Waltham, Mass., has combined its operations with those of The Retirement Plan Company, Brentwood, Tenn.

Both companies have focused on supporting 401(k) plans and other retirement plans for small and midsize employers.

The Retirement Plan Company previously was a unit of Lattimore Black Morgan & Cain P.C., Brentwood, an accounting firm.

John Kopra, the founder and manager of Lattimore Black’s benefits practice, will be chief executive of the combined company, and Jeff Miller, the chief executive of GoldK, will serve on the board of the combined company.

Lazard Technology Partners, New York, and T.H. Lee Putnam Ventures, New York, are backing the deal, and the newly combined company will have capital it can use to make acquisitions, executives say.