NU Online News Service, Jan. 27, 2005, 5:24 p.m. EST

A purchaser of financial advisory firms finished 2004 by scooping up firms that generate a total of about $25 million in annual revenue and $6.2 million in earnings.[@@]

The firm consolidator, National Financial Partners Corp., says the 8 firms it has acquired include businesses that specialize in life insurance and wealth transfer; corporate and executive benefits; and financial planning and investment advisory services. One firm sells property-casualty insurance.

The cost of the acquisitions amounted to $23.2 million in cash and the issuance of 307,000 shares of National Financial common stock, National Financial says.

National Financial is working to build a national financial services distribution organization by buying firms from sellers who want to continue to run their businesses but gain the backing of a large, publicly traded company.