Puritan Financial Group Inc. of Destin, Fla., has signed a binding letter of intent to buy Union Financial Corp., a small boutique brokerage in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Union Financial has more than $14 million of assets under management and more than 200 retail and institutional clients.

Under the deal, which was announced last week and is to be completed on or before Feb. 20, Union Financial would operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Puritan.

Trent Sommerville, Puritan's chairman and chief executive officer, said the deal "strengthens our position in the brokerage sector as we move forward with our corporate strategy. It will also open new opportunities on the retail side and help increase our customer base."

He said the company plans to buy more broker-dealers.

Thomas R. Noonan, Union Financial's president, is to stay on as a consultant and assist in the transition.

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