Captrust Financial Advisors is looking to keep growing organically and through M&A in 2020 after a “record year for organic growth” and five acquisitions in 2019, according to Wilson Hoyle, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based RIA’s managing director and head of its advisor group.
In 2019, Captrust acquired Boston Advisors’ Private Advisory Group, South Texas Money Management, Cornerstone Capital Advisors and McQueen, Ball & Associates. Captrust also added three partners from Atlanta-based FiduciaryVest to its growing institutional retirement plan advisory practice. The FiduciaryVest team, led by Philly Jones, added more than $13 billion in client assets under advisement, Captrust said in April.
The company had more than 650 employees nationwide after the most recent acquisitions, up from 515 at the end of 2018, and $367 billion in assets under advisement, up from $298 billion, it said Friday.
“We have been unapologetically a growth company for 25 years,” Hoyle told ThinkAdvisor in a recent interview. In addition to the acquisitions, it has been growing organically each year for the past 20 years, he noted. “That’s really important to us because we really believe that the best indicator of a company’s health is its ability to grow organically,” he said, adding that’s also “one thing that separates us from other companies similar to us that are trying to grow.”
On the acquisition front, Captrust remains “very discerning in who we bring on,” he said, explaining it’s looking for firms that are also looking to grow, not “to cash out.”
However, he was quick to add that although it is “hoping to do a handful of deals each year,” it does not “budget any deal flow” each year and if there is a year with no acquisitions in it, “that’s OK” also.
The firms that join Captrust are “coming to us from a position of strength, so they didn’t have to do a deal” either, he said, noting the RIAs it buys tend to be growing without it.
Captrust makes about 4-6 acquisitions each year, and the five deals in 2019 followed the same number in 2018 and seven in 2017, John Curry, its chief marketing officer, told ThinkAdvisor. Although it made no deals in 2016, that was a record year for organic growth at the firm, Hoyle pointed out.
While Captrust prides itself on having a high client retention rate, it also has a “phenomenal advisor retention rate,” Hoyle said, noting that once an advisor joins his firm, “they don’t leave.”