The Newport Group and Verisight Become One

The Newport Group, Inc. and Verisight, Inc. are joining forces to increase the size, scale and reach of their respective businesses.

Under the terms of the agreement, the holding company of Verisight will be renamed Newport Group Holdings, Inc. and will acquire The Newport Group and Newport Group Securities. “As operating entities, Verisight and Newport will continue to operate under their respective brands,” Verisight CEO Greg Tschider told PLANADVISER. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval.

Newport is a provider of retirement and executive benefit plans and investment consulting services. Verisight provides comprehensive retirement plan services and consulting solutions. Together, the firms provide services to $100 billion of corporate client assets encompassing more than 900,000 plan participant accounts.

“As a market leader in non-qualified plans, we will continue to serve the mid- to large-size markets,” says Newport CEO Peter Cahall. “In the qualified market, where we are also a leader, we serve clients of all sizes—simple and complex. Both Verisight and Newport will continue to serve the 403(b) marketplace.” The Newport Group was ranked 29th in assets in PLANSPONSOR’s 2014 Recordkeeping survey, with $31.4 billion in assets and 350,000 participants.

“This represents a long-term investment in the future of our respective businesses, reinforcing our commitment to our clients, intermediaries and employees,” Tschider said in a press release. “It’s particularly great news for plan sponsors and financial advisers, who will benefit from a powerful organization built on both firms’ deep resources.”

“Our mutual goal is to accelerate growth and expansion while maintaining our entrepreneurial spirit,” added Cahall in the announcement. “Together, we will lead the industry in executive benefit and retirement plans, and enhance our strong capabilities in corporate compensation and benefits consulting. By combining forces, we are dramatically raising our profile—and our competitiveness—in the executive benefits and retirement services marketplace.”

Cahall will be the chief executive of the executive benefit plan and investment consulting businesses. Tschider will be the chief executive of the qualified retirement plan services business. Dennis Sain, Newport senior vice president, will report to Tschider and continue to lead Newport’s qualified retirement services group. Cahall told PLANADVISER the firm does not anticipate a change in office locations as a result of the transaction.

Tschider adds that there are no plans to convert clients to a different recordkeeping platform as a result of the transaction. Verisight, Inc. acquired retirement and benefit plan service provider DailyAccess Corporation—which ranked 41 in PLANSPONSOR’s 2014 Recordkeeping Survey, with $8.3 billion in assets and 204,736 participants—in January. “Daily Access will remain a wholly owned subsidiary of Verisight. All three firms—Verisight, DailyAccess and Newport—have invested in their respective recordkeeping platforms, which serve their clients well,” Tschider says.

“We anticipate introducing positive changes to take advantage of the combined organization’s strengths,” says Cahall. “Our goal is always to find ways to enhance the overall level of client service, maximize our resources, and improve our operating efficiencies.”