Latest Captrust deal strengthens national footprint

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After solidifying its footprint in Texas, Captrust has moved to strengthen its presence in New England, purchasing Boston Advisors’ $1.5 billion wealth management business, Private Advisory Group.

The transaction is Captrust’s fourth RIA M&A deal this year and boosts the firm’s growing reputation as one of the industry’s most formidable M&A consolidators. Only Mercer Advisors, Mariner and Focus Financial Partners have done more deals this year.

Captrust acquired South Texas Money Management, a $3.7 billion San Antonio-based wealth management firm, in August, giving the consolidator offices in the state’s four largest cities, including Dallas, Houston and Austin.

The Boston Advisors deal bolsters Captrust’s existing Boston office. The consolidator also has New England offices in Portland, Maine, and Greenwich, Connecticut, as well as nearly 50 others around the country.

The deal is another sign of the firm’s strength in a cutthroat M&A market fueled by an influx of private equity capital that has inflated prices and valuations. Captrust’s institutional retirement business oversees more than $340 billion of client assets, and the Raleigh, North Carolina-based firm’s RIA business has over $16 billion in AUM.

Numerous other potential buyers called on Boston Advisors, but “the decision was easy when we dug into the different models,” says the firm’s Private Advisory Group president, Michael Vogelzang.

“The leverage available with the centralized, scaled expertise at Captrust was a win for our clients and our team,” Vogelzang says. “Additionally, the ability to work hand-in-glove with Captrust’s institutional retirement business for sales opportunities was incredibly attractive.”

Asked if Captrust was the highest bidder, Vogelzang said the deal “was driven by the cultural and operational alignments of our firms. While the deal was certainly competitive, [price] was not the main driver in our decision to join Captrust.”

Vogelzang and 14 other Private Advisory Group staffers are now Captrust employees. The group will assume the firm’s brand.

Back in 2004, after its parent company sold Boston Advisors to Merrill Lynch, the company’s management team led a buyout and reorganized the firm.

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