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eMoney Advisor sold to Fidelity for $250m+

Ed Walters' wealth-planning software maker in deal

eMoney Advisor, the Conshohocken "wealth-planning software" maker, has been sold again, by owners including founder Edmond Walters and investor and client Guardian Life Insurance Co. of New York, to Fidelity Investments, the Boston mutual-fund giant.

The buyer and sellers wouldn't comment on the terms of the sale. But Fidelity has agreed to pay a sum north of $250 million, which works out to more than 4 times the company's revenues, according to two people familiar with the terms of the deal.  Fidelity statement here.

"They're going to help us accelerate," Walters told me. The firm has 2,300 clients, including big firms like Fidelity, Guardian and LPL. "There are 25,000 registered investment reps and 1 million end users using our software. I'd say we have 20 percent of the One Percent" of richest Americans, Walters added. "We're growing at around 26 percent a year. We're going to hire a lot more Philadelphia people."

eMoney employs around 270 staff, most in Conshy, plus an office in San Diego. In a statement, Fidelity said Walters and his staff would stay with the company. eMoney Advisor was previously sold to Vernon Hill's Commerce Bank for $32 million in 2006, but on Commerce's takeover the next year by TD Bank, eMoney Advisor was set adrift, and was recapitalized with help from Guardian, a major client.  The sale validates Walters' vision for the firm, and he gets to keep running it.