After a period of rigorous bidding, Genstar Capital and Aquiline Capital Partners have jointly entered an agreement with J.C. Flowers & Co. to buy Ascensus, Inc. Ascensus is the leading independent provider of retirement and college savings plans in the US—it currently supports 3.3 million 529 college savings accounts and more than 1.5 million IRAs and HSAs.

Genstar Capital, a San Francisco-based middle-market private equity firm, and Aquiline Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, partnered previously for acquisitions that have helped them build their businesses based on a shared philosophy of strong leadership and growth.

The acquisition of Ascensus is likely to add to that growth for both companies. Founded 30 years ago, Ascensus focuses on retirement plan solutions, benefits education, 529 college savings plan record keeping, and IRA and health savings account administration.

“We are excited that Genstar Capital and Acquiline Capital Partners share our conviction that the retirement, college, and health savings industries will continue to be significant and growing markets for Ascensus,” said the company’s president and chief executive officer Bob Guillocheau. “Their commitment to Ascensus will strengthen our capabilities and services.”

“It has been our pleasure to work with Ascensus and its management team,” said J. Christopher Flowers of J.C. Flowers & Co., “and we are proud of the progress we have made in growing the company and expanding their operational scope.”

Ascensus currently has 1,500 employees, all of which will remain with the company with Guillocheau continuing on as their CEO.

The shift in ownership of Ascensus from J.C. Flowers & Co. to Genstar and Acquiline will be finalized in the fourth quarter after regulatory approvals and other closing conditions are squared away. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.