Nationwide has completed its previously announced acquisition of Jefferson National.

The Louisville-based distributor of investment products is a partner to a network of more than 4,000 advisors and has about $4.7 billion in client assets. 

Jefferson National, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Nationwide, is transitioning to the Nationwide brand.

According to Kirt Walker, Nationwide Financial president and chief operating officer, the transaction increases each organization’s ability to serve more partners and members in the ways they prefer to do business.

“This partnership allows for growth in ways that our companies couldn’t have achieved individually and complements our strong brokerage distribution channel.” Walker said in a statement.

The current leadership – which includes Mitchell H. Caplan as Jefferson National CEO – will remain intact and the companies expect no changes to the sales and service experience.

“Our vision of building a distribution company that is singularly focused on the unique needs of RIAs and fee-based advisors has truly changed industry perceptions, created a new category of product, and provides a tremendous engine for growth going forward,” Caplan said in a statement. “Nationwide has emphasized that they love what we do, and they want to learn from us and the way we do business with RIAs and fee-based advisors.”

Back in September, Nationwide said buying into an advisor-focused business would help it comply with the new Department of Labor fiduciary rule.

At that time, Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen said in a statement: “Partnering with the Jefferson National team will enable Nationwide to expand our distribution footprint and meet the needs of investors and retirement savers who want to do business in a fee-based advisor environment after implementation of the DOL fiduciary standard.”

Prior to Labor’s rule, many insurance firms — such as MetLife, Hartford, Genworth, ING and Pacific Life — decided to move out of their broker-related businesses over the past decade, mainly due to the regulatory costs and associated risks of owning broker-dealers. Nationwide’s approach, though, entails the purchase of a distributor and not a broker-dealer or BD network.

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