Latest news from Lee Equity Partners and our portfolio companies

January 11, 2023

Simplicity Partners with Grace Barnard, Judy Lane, and Daen Wombwell through the Acquisition of NIW

Summit, NJ (January 11, 2023) – Simplicity Group ("Simplicity") today announced the acquisition of the NIW Companies, the leading platform for supplemental retirement savings and traditional premium finance solutions. Led by founders Grace Barnard, Judy Lane, and Daen Wombwell, who together with their team members become Partners in the Simplicity Group, NIW has developed market-leading products and technology, including Kai-Zen® and the interactive, consumer-facing platform, ilia®. With this transaction, Simplicity’s 48th acquisition, Simplicity will amplify NIW’s mission to provide consumers with an unparalleled supplemental retirement savings platform.

“NIW’s reputation in this industry is incomparable, and we are thrilled to welcome Grace, Judy, Daen, and their team to the group,” said Bruce Donaldson, President and CEO of Simplicity. “With an alignment of values, and a shared focus on delivering solutions to support advisors and clients in a range of economic environments, we are confident that our combined offering will be well received in the industry and that NIW can realize its mission to revolutionize the way Americans can prepare for and live in retirement.”

“This deal signifies a pivotal moment in NIW’s history, and we could not be prouder to enter our next chapter as part of Simplicity,” said Grace Barnard. “Simplicity is best-in breed in the IUL space, and we are confident that our technology solutions will further increase the value that we collectively provide agents and advisors.”

“We pride ourselves on the business we have built at NIW and are eager to tap into Simplicity’s unrivalled distribution platform, resources, and culture,” said Daen Wombwell. “This is a true example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Our advisor partners will no doubt benefit from our expanded offerings with Simplicity and realize growth opportunities for themselves and their clients.”

“NIW’s Kai-Zen and ilia platforms are currently utilized by a variety of Simplicity companies, and we look forward to getting to know and work with additional partners in this impressive group,” said Judy Lane. “Our platform ties in nicely to Simplicity’s existing Tax-Free Retirement educational program and provides a strategic opportunity for advisors in the IUL space.”

About NIW

Created in 2000, NIW Companies specializes in innovative estate, business, and retirement planning solutions for high net- worth or high-income earning professionals. NIW’s team combines extensive industry expertise and alternative thinking to offer financial solutions that are high quality, durable, and cost effective. This commitment to excellence has enabled NIW to secure over $6 billion in loans and to achieve the highest persistency rate in the insurance industry. NIW solutions are known for being robust in both good and poor economic conditions. For more information, please visit

About Simplicity Group

Simplicity Group is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing financial product distribution companies, which has had 48 distribution businesses join its partnership (including NIW). Each of Simplicity’s operating businesses is directed by its local management team and benefits from access to Simplicity’s group resources. Through partnership with top distribution organizations and technology companies, Simplicity seeks to provide compelling business solutions that will attract the industry’s best leadership, talent, advisors, agents, and future partners.

Simplicity supports independent financial advisors and agents across the country with investment, annuity, and life insurance solutions with a focus on client education, consumer value and partnership. For more information, please visit: and follow the Company on LinkedIn.