A bank. Then a wealth management firm. Now, an insurance broker.

Associated Banc-Corp in Green Bay, Wis., has extended its shopping spree with an agreement to buy Diversified Insurance Solutions, a Milwaukee insurance broker. The price of the deal, announced Thursday, was not disclosed.

That was the $33 billion-asset Associated’s third deal in the last seven months.

In July it agreed to pay $482 million in stock for the $2.7 billion-asset Bank Mutual in Brown Deer, Wis., a suburb of Milwaukee. The acquisition was completed on Feb. 1. It was Associated’s first bank purchase since 2007.

Then in September it agreed to buy Whitnell & Co., a wealth management firm in Oak Brook, Ill., which had $1 billion in assets under management and specialized in financial planning services tied to taxes, charitable contributions and estates. That transaction was completed in October.

The deal for Diversified is expected to close next month.

Philip Flynn, CEO of Associated Banc-Corp
Depth and breadth
The deal for Diversified Insurance Solutions “improves our ability to achieve greater scale in the metro Milwaukee market and to further expand our Wisconsin employee benefits and property and casualty" business, Associated CEO Philip Flynn says.


The management teams at Diversified and Associated’s benefits and risk consulting unit “have known each other for several years,” and the two companies offer complementary services, the companies said in a joint news release. The combined entity would be the 45th-largest U.S. insurance brokerage firm, the release said, and one of its primary aims would be to offer comprehensive financial services to business owners and executives that help them run their daily businesses, take care of employees and meet their financial goals.

Philip Flynn, the president and CEO of Associated, described Diversified, which was founded in 1982, as a “well-known and established insurance firm.” The deal “improves our ability to achieve greater scale in the metro Milwaukee market and to further expand our Wisconsin employee benefits and property and casualty market position and capabilities," Flynn said.

Associated’s benefits and risk consulting unit has 400 employees and provides employee benefits, retirement plans, business insurance, personal insurance and other products and services.

After the acquisition is completed, Diversified’s executives will stay in leadership roles “for some time,” the release said.

Associated said it will discuss the transaction further during its conference call on first-quarter financial results scheduled for April 19.

Associated has 225 branches in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, and it also provides commercial financial services in Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Texas.

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