The Prudential Insurance Company of America of Newark, N.J. announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a majority interest in Hochman & Baker of Northbrook, Ill., a firm that trains accountants to offer investment products to its clients.

The agreement was signed Dec. 20 and was expected to close by the end of the year, Prudential said.

Hochman & Baker currently has a network of 500 licensed representatives who are based in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida. The firm sells mutual funds, annuities, various forms of insurance and financial and estate planning services.

The firm's two principals, Joel Hochman and Glenn Baker, will retain a 20 percent interest in the firm and will lead its plans for nationwide expansion.

"As accounting professionals become increasingly important providers of financial advice, Prudential looks forward to helping them meet their clients' insurance and investment needs," said Thomas Crawford, president of retail distribution for Prudential, in a statement.

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