RIA Roundup: Captrust Buys $1.1B Trutina in Pacific Northwest

Captrust Financial Advisors bought a Seattle-area firm with more than $1 billion dollars under management, one of the larger deals announced in a week that saw no less than 13.

Concurrent Advisors, Homrich Berg, Mercer, Merit, Sutton Wealth and Hub International all picked up assets and talent, while SignatureFD named Orion’s founding CEO to its board of directors and AlphaStar Capital chose a new president.

In previously reported news, a former Boston Private president launched an RIA with Dynasty Financial Partners, Diversify Advisor Networks has attracted three teams amid a reconfiguration and rebranding effort, Karl Heckenberg’s new firm has made its first private equity investment in AlphaCore Wealth, and Hub picked up another retirement firm.

Captrust Buys $1.1B Trutina in Pacific NW

Captrust Financial Advisors has picked up an RIA in the greater Seattle area managing around $1.1 billion for 395 households and 142 corporations.

Registered with the SEC in 2009, Trutina Financial comprises a team of 15 led by Managing Partner and Chief Compliance Officer Geoffrey Schock and Senior Partner and Chief Strategy Officer Matt Myers. The firm provides retirement planning and family wealth management, along with corporate cash management for businesses, endowments, and foundations.

Myers cited Captrust’s employee equity program and menu of “sophisticated” services as key reasons for the move.

“The Pacific Northwest is a region we have wanted to expand in for a long time,” Captrust Senior Director of Strategic Growth Rush Benton said in a statement. “Adding the folks at Trutina is the perfect way to initiate our presence in this market.”

Founded in 1997, Raleigh, N.C.-based Captrust registered as an RIA in 2003. The firm comprises close to 1,500 employees, including more than 600 advisors managing more than $143 billion and advising on another $688 billion in assets for individuals and families, family office clients, retirement plan sponsors, endowments, foundations and religious entities.

Another Raymond James Team Goes Independent with Concurrent

Maverick Wealth Advisors announced its official launch as a registered investment advisory firm on the Concurrent Advisors platform Thursday.

Based in Cañon City, Colo., about an hour southeast of Colorado Springs, Maverick is led by CEO Sean Morton, Chief Operating Officer Andrew Palmasano and Mike Morton, founder, financial advisor and Sean’s father. Formerly with Raymond James, they are joined by Client Relationship Managers Charles Wanner and Rachel Vertrees.

By partnering with Concurrent Investment Advisors, a multi-custodial, hybrid RIA that was previously an OSJ on the Raymond James advisory platform. Maverick will leverage the firm’s technology, concierge support and compliance oversight, using Schwab as primary custodian.

Tampa-based Concurrent, which relaunched as a hybrid RIA partnership platform and broker/dealer early this year, is on track to reach its goal of $17 billion in client assets by the end of the year.

Homrich Berg Adds Atlanta Duo from Truist

Atlanta-based Homrich Berg recruited Billy Levine and Alex Arnold from Truist Wealth, where Levine was a senior wealth advisor and Arnold was an advisor and private banker.

Levine, who has become a partner at HB, began his career in investment banking at The Robinson-Humphrey Company in 1998 and then spent nine years as an advisor with JP Morgan Private Bank before joining SunTrust Bank, which merged with BB&T to launch Truist in early 2020.

Arnold, who spent 11 years as an advisor at SunTrust and then Truist, is stepping into a managing director role at HB. Prior to SunTrust, he was with the private banking group at Wachovia for six years.

The pair will bolster family office services from HB’s Atlanta offices.

Founded in 1989, Atlanta-based Homrich Berg is a national independent wealth management firm that provides fee-only investment management and financial planning services for more than 3,000 affluent individuals, families and nonprofits with about $14 billion in managed assets.

Mercer Advisors Buys Paragon Wealth Strategies and Brighton Financial

Mercer Global Advisors has acquired Paragon Wealth Strategies of Jacksonville, Fla., bringing more than 400 clients and $495 million in assets to the Denver-based RIA.

Founded by Managing Partners Jonathan Castle and Michelle Ash in 2008, Scott Snider and Ian Aquilar joined Paragon as partners in 2020. The team includes six additional staff members.

In New Jersey and South Carolina, Mercer has also picked up a $90 million AUM firm founded by John Middleton.

The team of two at Brighton Financial Planning serves 73 clients and a handful of charities.

Middleton said he was looking to partner with a large, national RIA to provide additional resources, take over middle- and back-office functions, handle taxes and provide estate planning services.

“They presented a one-stop shop solution for all my clients’ financial needs,” he said of Mercer.

Majority owned by Genstar Capital, Oak Hill Capital and Altas Partners, Mercer has been on a mission to establish itself as a leading national RIA. Early this year, the firm refreshed its branding and messaging to reflect that goal. Established in 1985, the firm employs around 990 people, including 400 advisors, overseeing more than $50 billion in client assets from more than 80 offices nationwide.  

Paragon and Brighton represent the 10th and 11th firms to join Mercer in 2023.

Sutton Wealth Advisors to Join Focus Partner Cornerstone Wealth Group

Focus Financial Partners signed a deal to merge Sutton Wealth Advisors with partner firm Cornerstone Wealth Group in North Carolina, expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

Founded in 2007 by Ed Sutton, Sutton Wealth is a Tampa-based RIA with about $393 million in assets, focusing on providing financial and estate planning for wealthy Floridians. Sutton will gain operational scale, while Cornerstone, founded in 2002 and managing a little over $1 billion in client assets, enters a “strategic market.”

Under new ownership, Focus Financial brought in $2.1 billion in revenue in 2022. The company is expected to merge around 90 independently-operated subsidiary practices into a handful of its largest firms, according to industry sources.

All three of the firm’s founders have departed in the wake of the sale.

Merit Financial Buys ClearBridge Wealth Management in Atlanta

Merit Financial Advisors, an RIA in the greater Atlanta area overseeing around $9 billion in advisory and brokerage assets, bought a local firm managing about $300 million for around 200 households and a few retirement plans and charities.

Founded by Preston Byers, ClearBridge Wealth Management provides investment management and business and financial planning for individuals, families, and business owners. Byers has joined Merit as wealth manager and partner along with a small operations and client support team. He cited back-office support and Merit’s “extensive” technology platform as reasons behind the move.

The acquisition, which closed on Dec. 1, is Merit’s 22nd since taking a minority investment in December 2020 from Wealth Partners Capital Group and HGGC.

Hub International Picks Up Spokane Retirement Planner

Hub International Limited, a publicly traded insurance brokerage and financial services firm based in Chicago, has acquired the assets of Longbow Financial Services in Spokane, Wash. 

Longbow Financial is a four-person team specialized in corporate retirement planning and individual client wealth founded by Managing Partner Michael Furrer. They will become part of Hub Northwest.

Hub International has more than 17,000 employees in offices located throughout North America. The company has announced dozens of other acquisitions in recent years, the majority of which have added to its insurance business. The Hub Retirement and Private Wealth practice comprises about $148 billion total client assets.

Former Orion CEO Joins SignatureFD Board of Directors

SignatureFD, an Atlanta-based firm with close to $7.4 billion in managed assets, named Orion Advisor Solutions’ founding CEO Eric Clarke to its board of directors. 

Effective Jan. 1, Clarke will become the first external member on the board. He joins Doug Liptak, David Fisher, Russ Cearley, Todd Sheets, Blake Williams, David Deeter and Heather Fortner, who is the company’s CEO and board chair.

Clarke founded Orion in 1999 and oversaw its subsequent evolution into one of the industry’s leading technology solutions for RIAs. He retired as CEO of Orion in October and continues to serve on the company’s board.

“Broadened governance and diversity of perspective are the foundations of a firm that’s built for the future,” Fortner said in a statement. “Eric has been at the forefront of transforming wealth management businesses for decades. Bolstering our advisory oversight with a leader of his caliber will be instrumental as we continue to advance from a position of strength.” 

SignatureFD provides wealth management and financial planning services, as well as investment management and access to private investments for approximately 1,700 clients.

AlphaStar Capital Names Paul Stetz President

Alphastar Capital Management, a North Carolina RIA with about $1.5 billion in registered assets, appointed Transcend Partner Group co-founder Paul Stetz to serve as president.

At Transcend, Stetz launched an RIA roll-up business and provided strategic support to partner firms. Prior to that, he was COO at Fairpoint Wealth, a managing director for Mercer Advisors and in sales and relationship management roles at Schwab Advisor Services and Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions.

Founded in 2011, Alphastar offers turnkey asset management services, direct affiliation options, family office services and a focus on insurance as a key asset class for financial advisors serving primarily pre-retirees and wealthy individuals.

“Paul’s arrival at Alphastar is not just a new chapter in his illustrious career but also a testament to Alphastar’s commitment to attracting top-tier talent in the industry,” said Managing Partner Brian Williams.

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