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United Capital scoops up firm managing $530M in assets

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United Capital left its biggest buy for last.

The RIA acquirer scooped up Payne Wealth Partners, an independent RIA based in Evansville, Indiana, with $530 million in assets under management and a team of 13 employees. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Amid a highly competitive seller’s market this year, United Capital largely focused on acquiring RIAs with around $300M in client assets.

“It all has to do with what advisors are looking to accomplish for their stakeholders,” says Matt Brinker, head of acquisitions at Capital United. “As profitability continues to be a struggle and the complexity of the business continues to accelerate, we’re going to strategically partner with the right firms.”

Untied Capital had a healthy appetite in the past 12 months. Long a leading acquirer of smaller RIAs, the firm snapped up three independent firms with a combined $758 million in assets in July alone. The firm totaled six acquisitions, year to date, and grabbed $1.4 billion in client assets, according to a spokeswoman.

Firms thinking about scale usually come to “an interesting inflection point,” Brinker says. “Do they like the status quo and operating as more of a lifestyle firm,” Brinker says, “or do they want to focus on growth and scale and enterprise value? Firms that fit into the latter category are looking for strategic partners to fill in some of the gaps.”

United Capital pierced the $20 billion in client assets threshold by gobbling companies with a combined $8.18 billion this year, according to the firm.

Tools like Money Mind, Honest Conversations and the Guidebook help United Capital stay competitive among RIAs focused on “financial life management,” the firm says.

Payne Wealth Management founder Taylor Payne tried out the tools to see how clients might benefit. He and his wife were surprised with what they learned about each other’s financial priorities, he says. “As professional advising folks you think we would know,” Payne says, “but until you have a process in front of you, it can be pretty tough.”

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