Norwest Corp. has agreed to buy Emjay Corp., a Milwaukee-based retirement plan administrator, for an undisclosed price.

Emjay is privately held and has 180 employees and $2.1 billion of assets under trusteeship. The acquisition would make Norwest the largest 401(k) provider in Wisconsin. Norwest would also gain a small investment adviser, Maier/Hauswirth.

The deal, expected to close in May, is a first for Norwest, which has built its employee benefit business by acquiring banks with retirement plan administrators.

Employee benefits is part of Norwest's investment and management trust division, which has $51 billion of assets under management. Norwest said Emjay would operate as a wholly owned subsidiary under the Emjay name. Emjay serves 2,200 companies with 100,000 employee participants.

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