Captrust President Ben Goldstein, left, and Fountain Founder Vinton Fountain. Captrust President Ben Goldstein, left, and Fountain Founder Vinton Fountain.

The latest acquisition by Raleigh, North Carolina-based RIA Captrust Financial Advisors is Wilmington, North Carolina-based Fountain Financial Associates and its $654 million in assets under management.

With the addition of RIA Fountain, Captrust now has more than 330 employees in the state of North Carolina, including over 50 advisors, it said. Prior to the purchase, Captrust had more than 650 employees across the U.S. overall and represented over $18 billion in wealth management assets, with a total of $368 billion in assets under advisement, it said.

The purchase price wasn’t provided Thursday by Captrust, whose managing director and advisor group head, Wilson Hoyle, told ThinkAdvisor in December that the firm was looking to keep growing organically and through M&A in 2020 after a “record year for organic growth” and five acquisitions in 2019.

Those 2019 acquisitions included Boston Advisors’ Private Advisory GroupSouth 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.

Fountain’s team of 10 employees, including five advisors, joins Captrust’s wealth management practice. The addition represents the fourth location for the rapidly growing Captrust in North Carolina, including the firm’s headquarters in Raleigh, as well as offices in Greensboro and Charlotte.

Fountain was founded in 1998 and is one of Wilmington’s oldest and largest independent financial planning and investment management firms, according to Captrust. The firm was started by Vinton Fountain, who also has served as its president, to provide successful individuals with a personally tailored option for the management of their financial lives, Captrust said.

Vinton Fountain is joining Captrust, along with advisors Buck Beam, Brice Gibson, Chris Riley and Bob Warwick, Captrust said.

Explaining why Fountain decided to join Captrust, Vinton Fountain said Thursday: “I had an internal succession plan in place, and our firm truly was not for sale. As time went on, industry pressures were proving that we needed improved technology, compliance, HR and other resources that we simply couldn’t take ourselves. We had a large number of suitors approach us over the years, however those suitors were typically interested in a financial transaction. When Captrust arrived, they proved to be a perfect fit. Captrust was not looking to simply buy our firm. They were looking for a strategic partnership that enables myself and my team members to achieve stronger growth, elevate our practice and better serve our clients. On top of all the great business and cultural synergies, Captrust is located in our back yard, just a couple hours away within North Carolina. We are incredibly excited to join the Captrust team and look forward to what we will accomplish together as a unified firm.”

It was not immediately clear if Captrust had any specific RIAs in its sights for additional acquisitions this year, and the company did not immediately provide a comment.

However, Captrust President Ben Goldstein explained: “There are many important characteristics that we at Captrust look for when considering having a new firm join our team. Among them is having the strong conviction to act as a fiduciary and put the needs of their clients and the community first. These two traits have been a core part of Fountain Financial Associates since the very beginning. We are pleased to be able to expand our presence within North Carolina to even more communities and look forward to the great work we will be able to achieve together.”

— Check out RIA Captrust Sticking With Growth Plan in 2020, Exec Says  on ThinkAdvisor.