Hartford Life Inc., a leading seller of individual annuities through banks, has agreed to buy Planco Financial Services Inc., the exclusive distributor of the country's best-selling variable annuity.

Planco of Paoli, Pa., has distributed Hartford's products for more than a decade and has had exclusive rights to several of its products, including the its best-selling Director variable annuity, since 1996.

Hartford sold $1.8 billion of the Director annuity through banks last year, about 57% of its total annuity sales through banks, a spokesman said.

Terms of the July 29 deal between Hartford and Planco were not disclosed. It is expected to be completed in the third quarter and is subject to regulatory approval.

Hartford Life, Simsbury, Conn., has $113.5 billion of assets and is 81.6% owned by Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. Planco, a privately held company founded in 1977, has 200 bank clients, according to American Brokerage Consultants of St. Petersburg, Fla.

-Cheryl Winokur

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