PE-backed Captrust Buys $800 Million-AUM Pennsylvania RIA
Raleigh, N.C.-based RIA aggregator Captrust Financial Advisors has acquired PWA Wealth Management, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based firm managing $800 million in client assets, according to an announcement on Friday.
PWA was founded in 2003 by CEO Joe Scarpo, who leads a 15-employee team that includes seven advisors. The RIA, which has a satellite office in Greensburg, Pa., serves about 1,000 individuals, small business owners and institutional clients, according to its website.
Scarpo said in a prepared statement that they opted to partner up for additional resources and scale that would “improve our service offering and bring greater growth opportunities” for clients and employees.
Scarpo entered the industry in 1991 with Walnut Street Securities, according to his BrokerCheck profile. He was registered with Bill Few Securities from 1997 to 2008, when he switched to PWA Securities, which he owned, according to the database. The PWA broker-dealer was shuttered in February 2019 and the RIA does not currently have any broker-dealer affiliation, according to BrokerCheck and PWA Wealth Management’s June 2020 Form ADV.
As with all firms that join Captrust, PWA will adopt the parent company’s name and branding.
Captrust, which is majority-owned by its employees and executives, has purchased 45 businesses since 2006. The firm oversees more than $50 billion in assets under management.
In June 2020, private equity firm GTCR purchased a 25% stake in Captrust, in a transaction valuing the RIA at roughly $1.25 billion.
The roll-up is one of a number of serial acquirers, such as Mercer Global Advisors, Hightower Advisors and CI Financial, buying up mid-size RIAs and setting records industry-wide for mergers and acquisitions, according to bankers.
Earlier this month, Captrust said it had purchased Phoenix-based MRA Associates, a 59-employee firm with nearly $3.3 billion in assets under management. That deal closed in November of 2020.