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Captrust Adds $3.3B Arizona RIA

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Captrust Financial Advisors has continued its western expansion by acquiring the assets of Phoenix-based RIA MRA Associates, a firm with $3.29 billion in assets under management that also has offices in Las Vegas and Wayzata, Minnesota.

The addition of MRA also allows Captrust to start offering a new service for clients: income and estate tax compliance and consulting services for individuals, families, trusts, and related closely held operating businesses and entities, it said. The 59-person firm includes 12 advisors, 10 tax advisors and 37 additional staff, a Captrust spokesperson said Friday.

The transaction was completed in mid-November and announced Thursday. Financial terms were not disclosed.

With the addition of MRA, Captrust now has 330 total advisors, including 107 institutional advisors, 198 wealth advisors and 25 hybrid advisors. As of Sept. 30, it had $50 billion in AUM and $409 billion in AUA.

MRA was founded in 1991 and is led by Mark Feldman, its CEO and one of the firm’s managing partners, along with Brad Lemon, Christina Burroughs, Mike Hirte and Nathan Erickson, who is also its chief financial officer.

“The decision to join Captrust was an easy one once we understood the considerable level of scale we would be plugging into,” Feldman said in a statement. “I believe all of our clients will benefit greatly from the depth of the firm’s investment capabilities, as well their institutional capacity and leverage.”

Captrust already has several locations in California. But MRA is the firm’s first office in Phoenix. It did, however, add an advisor in 2020 — Frank Pyles — who has a non-branch location in Phoenix.

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For 2021, Captrust plans to “continue adding firms at the same pace as we did in 2020,” Benton said Friday.

Discussing Captrust’s expansion strategy, he said in a statement: “The southwest has long been a target market for Captrust and MRA is giving us a significant presence in the region. The team has created a phenomenal firm and we look forward to learning from their best practices as we integrate them into Captrust.”

Captrust, over the years, has “seen a number of RIAs with tax practices that consisted only of a single employee who did returns seasonally,” Benton noted. “When MRA came along, we were impressed not only by the sophistication of their tax offering, but also by their ability to integrate their tax planning into their holistic wealth management process. We see a lot of opportunity and look forward to offering tax consulting to our current clients in 2021.”

Since 2006, Captrust has added 44 firms. They included $1.6 billion Lakeside Wealth Management last year. That news came about a week after the private equity group GTCR took a 25% stake in Captrust that was valued at about $1.25 billion.

Since then, Captrust also completed a carve-out of Plante Moran Financial Advisor’s $6.27 billion AUA retirement plan advisory business in September and added Shine Wealth Partners, a wealth management firm with $785 million in assets, in November.

Consistent with previous firms that have joined the firm, MRA’s locations in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Wayzata will now take on Captrust’s name and branding. Captrust is based in Raleigh, North Carolina.