Milwaukee, WI – Thomas M. Bolger, President and CEO of
Johnson Financial Group, today announced the $4 billion parent company of Johnson
Bank and Johnson Insurance has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cleary Gull
Advisors Inc., a leading SEC-registered investment advisor and wealth management firm
based in Milwaukee with assets under advisement of $2.1 billion.
The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2016 after receipt of
client consents and regulatory approval. Cleary Gull’s investment banking division is not
included in the acquisition.
“We are making this move to strengthen our market presence with well-known,
highly capable people dedicated to serving their clients with the kind of professional
expertise and personal, caring approach that makes us distinctive in all that we do,” said
Bolger. “This move is part of our growth strategy for our Wealth business and strongly
demonstrates our commitment to the Milwaukee market. It positions us to be a leading
provider of investment advisory and retirement planning services.”
Michael Cleary, agreed. “The basic strength and appeal of Johnson Financial
Group is they are Wisconsin-headquartered, family-owned and here to stay for
generations. What this means to investors and the marketplace is two legacy companies
with deep roots in Milwaukee and Wisconsin will join forces, become bigger and better
together and be able to grow in the best way,” said Cleary. “Plus, all of our clients,
including our specialty practice focused on airline pilots, will now have access to the full
breadth of services Johnson Financial offers, including banking and insurance.”
Michael Cleary will be named President of the company, which will be referred
to as Cleary Gull Advisors Inc., a Johnson Financial Group Company.
Conversations began between the two companies late last summer after
Johnson Financial hired Brian Andrew to be its Chief Investment Officer. Andrew had
previously been President and CIO for Cleary Gull.
“I’ve known Tom Bolger for a number of years and always had great respect for
the Johnson organization,” said Cleary. “I had been thinking about the future of our firm
for some time and when Brian left last year, I reached out to Tom to start a conversation
. . . and here we are!”
Johnson Bank offers customized investment management, fiduciary trust
services and retirement plan services to more than 2,200 individuals, businesses and
institutions. Post-acquisition, the combined company will have more than $8.5 billion in
assets under administration.
To integrate the companies Cleary will work closely with Dan Kaminski, head of
Wealth for Johnson Financial Group.
“I look forward to having the Cleary team join us as we work to enhance the
strengths of both companies,” said Kaminski.
Bolger continued, “We believe this combination will be good for our clients, our
employees and the Milwaukee community.”
About Johnson Financial Group
Johnson Financial Group is a premier financial services company offering comprehensive financial
solutions in the areas of banking, wealth and insurance. The $4 billion financial services company is the
parent company of Johnson Bank and Johnson Insurance Services and has operating companies in
Wisconsin and Arizona. Principal owners of Johnson Financial Group are members of the Samuel C.
Johnson family. Helen Johnson-Leipold is Chairman of Johnson Financial Group in Racine, Wisconsin. For
more information visit www.johnsonbank.com and www.johnsonins.com
About Cleary Gull
Cleary Gull (www.clearygull.com) is an employee-owned firm providing financial advice through two
operating divisions: Investment Advisory Services and Investment Banking Services. Cleary Gull provides
investment advice with respect to over $2.1 billion of client assets for high net worth individuals and
families, pilots, and not-for-profit hospitals and senior living communities across the nation. Cleary Gull’s
investment bankers specialize in providing advice on exclusive sales, mergers and acquisitions, and private
debt and equity capital placement, typically for transactions from $10 million to $200 million.