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Captrust flexes M&A muscles with a $3.7B acquisition

Captrust Financial Advisors has once again flexed its M&A muscles in the extremely competitive RIA market, acquiring a $3.7 billion San Antonio, Texas-based wealth management firm — their largest acquisition in the last two years.

The addition of South Texas Money Management gives Captrust offices in all of the fast-growing Texas market’s four largest cities. The aggregator already has a footprint in Dallas, Houston and Austin.

Captrust, which has around $10 billion in AUM, has been one of the most active buyers in a brutally competitive seller’s market. South Texas is the firm’s third deal this year.

Captrust’s $300 billion-plus institutional retirement business gives it a competitive advantage with sellers, according to Annie Tronoski, managing director for Park Sutton Advisors, the investment banking firm that represented South Texas.

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“They have a compelling story when firms consider their institutional client base,” Tronoski says. “It’s an interesting opportunity for revenue enhancement. Advisory firms also are attracted to the fact that Captrust is a fast-growing company with wide employee ownership.”

Captrust offers cash and equity deals and targets established wealth management firms in markets where it already has established its institutional 401(k) business, says Wilson Hoyle, head of the company’s advisor group.

The Raleigh, North Carolina, firm also offers potential sellers access to additional personnel. In an industry facing an advisor shortage, this helps Captrust appeal to sellers who are looking for organic growth, Hoyle says.

Before her death in April, former South Texas chairwoman Jeanie Wyatt and her management team chose Captrust to secure her legacy and fulfill her succession plan, according to the firm. Wyatt was also known for hiring women executives on the firm’s leadership team.

Captrust’s previous transactions include McQueen, Ball, a Pennsylvania-based RIA with $1.3 billion in AUM and Cornerstone Capital Advisors, a New York City-based firm with $770 million in AUM.

The transaction is expected to close in early September.

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