The formation of a retail insurance network by Acordia Inc. — the Chicago insurance agency that Wells Fargo & Co. is buying — and the London agency Heath Lambert Group reflects a growing cross-Atlantic trend.

Such U.S.-Europe pairings in financial services have been surging in recent weeks. The British insurer Prudential PLC has agreed to buy the U.S. life insurer American General Corp.; Bank of America Corp. has entered a distribution deal with Farmers Insurance, a subsidiary of Zurich Life; and the possibility has been rumored of a similar link between the German insurer Allianz and Merrill Lynch & Co.

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