Savant Capital Management and The Monitor Group, two independent fee-only registered investment advisory firms, announced Wednesday that the two firms will merge.

The combined firm, which will have 10 offices in Illinois, Wisconsin, Virginia and Florida, will be called Savant Capital LLC, and will manage more than $2.7 billion in assets. When the deal closes by the end of the summer, the combined firm will be based in Rockford, Ill.

The board of managers will consist of Thomas Muldowney, Savant Capital Management's chairman and principal; Glenn Kautt, the president and chairman of The Monitor Group; Brent Brodeski, the CEO and Principal of Savant Capital Management; and Richard Bennett, Savant Capital Management's principal and chief operating officer.

The principals met because Both companiers are members of Zero Alpha Group, an international network of independent investment advisory firms. 

“We have known each other for several years and have had ongoing mutual respect for each other” Muldowney said. “Each firm has successfully grown organically - one client at a time - during the course of the past several years; joining forces provides a new avenue for growth for both organizations, and we will continue to keep our strategic growth options open.”

The deal was managed by strategic advisor Advisor Growth Strategies, LLC, based in Phoenix, and M&A advisor Advice Dynamics Partners, LLC, based in San Francisco.

“This combination is indicative of a new era in value creation that has planted roots in our industry and is growing rapidly," said John Furey, a principal at Advisor Growth Strategies saidd. "Beneficiaries include the clients, the team members of the firm and advisors in transition who are looking for a good home.”

“This has the potential to be the largest RIA/RIA combination of 2012,” said David Selig, the CEO of Advice Dynamics Partners. “The days when transactions of this type were only possible for the large acquirers are in the rear-view mirror.  Exceptional wealth managers like Savant and Monitor have realized that joining forces is not only possible, it is an excellent part of a well thought out growth strategy.”