Alerus Financial in Grand Forks, N.D., has agreed to buy Alliance Benefit Group North Central States, a retirement plan administrator in Minnesota.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter. The $1.6 billion-asset Alerus did not disclose financial terms.

Alliance provides recordkeeping and administration for 900 retirement plans with 75,000 total participants. Alliance also performs recordkeeping and benefit services for payroll, health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and COBRA services.

Alerus estimated the deal will increase total assets under administration at its Alerus Retirement Solutions unit to $23 billion from $17 billion.

Alliance is headquartered in Albert Lea, Minn., and also has an office in Eden Prairie, Minn.

Alliance's president, Steve Pulley, will join Alerus to lead the employee recordkeeping and benefit services group.

Alerus will not acquire Alliance Benefit Group Financial Services in Albert Lea or Alliance Benefit Group of Kansas City, both of which are separate companies and will continue to operate on their own.

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