The management of Essex Corp., a leading distributor of investment products through banks, has agreed to sell the company for $27 million.

The company's new owner, CUC International, is best known for offering discount travel and other services to credit card holders.

Essex will retain its name and operate as a subsidiary of Stamford, Conn.-based CUC. Essex's managers, led by founder and principal owner Kevin Crowe, will remain in place. Founded in 1980, Essex was one of the last independently-owned mutual fund and annuity marketing firms.

The company last year sold $2.3 billion of mutual funds and annuities through more than 200 financial institutions.

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