COR Securities Holdings, part of a Santa Monica, Calif.-based private equity firm, has bought Legent Clearing, a settlement and clearing firm in Omaha, Neb.

The deal boosts Legent’s equity capitalization by $20 million, initially, the company announced. The firm, which has a network of about 75 broker-dealer correspondents, expects to improve and expand its product and service offerings to those clients, Legent’s CEO Christopher Frankel said in a statement.

“The infusion of new capital and elimination of debt transforms our balance sheet and affords us the opportunity to better serve our clients,” Frankel said.

The acquisition of Legent Clearing helps give the 2012 merger and acquisition period a strong start. Earlier this week, LPL Investment Holdings announced plans to buy Fortigent, an advisory services firm in Rockville, Md.

Separately, COR Securities added Alton Jones, former chairman of Pershing. Marshall Geller, former senior managing director of Bear, Stearns & Co., and Ric Duques, former chairman and CEO of First Data Corp., are joining its board of directors.

Donna Mitchell writes for Financial Planning.