Northwestern Mutual acquires LearnVest

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. announced it has acquired LearnVest, a company that sells personal finance software.

New York City-based LearnVest was founded in 2009 and has quickly scaled to 1.5 million users. The company has 150 employees between New York and Arizona. Forbes last year estimated it was worth more than $250 million. Northwestern Mutual Capital was among the investors in its latest funding round.

The companies declined to disclose the terms of the transaction. When the transaction closes, which Northwestern Mutual said would occur “in the coming weeks,” LearnVest will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual, while retaining its brand. Founder Alexa von Tobel will remain chief executive officer of LearnVest and will be chairman of the LearnVest board.

Northwestern Mutual and LearnVest said in a press release that their companies both aim to deliver personal financial security through planning offered by financial professionals and educational tools. The acquisition will bring new technological capabilities to Northwestern Mutual’s network of 4.2 million clients, who are served by a field force of 16,000.

“There’s been a gap between what consumers want and what the financial industry has been able to offer,” said John Schlifske, Northwestern Mutual’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Northwestern Mutual will fill that gap by redefining how financial security is delivered. Our goal is to take more clients from start to finish, addressing all parts of the planning equation, and to be a partner at the center of their financial lives through all stages.”

Among the attributes offered by LearnVest are modern, easy-to-use financial planning technology, a complete financial education experience and the entrepreneurial passion of its employees, Northwestern Mutual said in the release.

“After five years of constant innovation from the LearnVest team, I could not be prouder that Northwestern Mutual and LearnVest are coming together to redefine financial planning in America,” von Tobel said. “LearnVest has made it our mission to make unbiased financial planning affordable, accessible, and delightful for all American households – a mission we will now continue with the support of Northwestern Mutual.

“Over time, our dynamic planning platform will be a real differentiator in the industry. With Northwestern Mutual’s financial backing, we can quickly empower millions of Americans and the dedicated professionals who serve them. We’re excited about truly transforming how households plan for and achieve financial security, and we will continue to unleash our innovation over the coming years.”

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