CAPTRUST, an employee-owned financial advisory firm with over $200 billion in client assets, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, has reunited with CapTrust, a $19 billion RIA based in Tampa, Florida.

The firms were once part of the same CAPTRUST entity but split in 1998 although they still operated as part of a larger CapTrust organization headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Now they are one again, with a combined $243 billion in assets, 34 offices nationwide, 138 advisors and clients in all 50 states. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Given our relationship with them [CapTrust Advisors] over the last 19 years, we understand the firm and its culture intimately, and wee are excited for them to tap into the resources of the larger organization,” said CAPTRUST CEO and Co-Founder J. Fielding Miller. “This merger reflects the perfect alignment of values and our shared commitment to clients and colleagues.”

The merger, which has already been completed according to a spokeswoman, is the sixth one  for CAPTRUST this year and its twenty-sixth deal over the past decade. It is also among CAPTRUST’s top three acquisitions.

A CAPTRUST spokeswoman said the three principals of CapTrust – Roger Robson, Eric Bailey and Stephen Schott — will remain with the newly merged firm.

This latest mega merger follows several others so far this year, including LPL’s acquisition of four National Planning Holdings BDs, Kestra Financial’s acquisition of H. Beck and HighTower’s planned acquisition of WealthTrust.

There were 82 transactions in the RIA space, up from 71 in the comparable period a year ago, many by banks gobbling up RIAs, according to DeVoe & Co.’s latest Deal Book report. But the average size of the deals, based on AUM, was about 30% smaller.

Year-to-date M&A transaction volume continues to top last year’s and 2017 is on track to set another record year of activity, David DeVoe tells ThinkAdvisor.

He says CAPTRUST is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing M&A activity in the RIA industry because unlike many other firms it has not used private equity to fund acquisitions. CAPTRUST has “created a core competiency of acquiring and integrating firms,” says DeVoe.

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