Indianapolis wealth management firm acquired by North Carolina business

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Column Capital Advisors, an Indianapolis-based wealth management firm with more than $1.4 billion in assets under management, has been acquired by fast-growing Raleigh, North Carolina-based Captrust Financial Advisors.

The deal closed on Sept. 29, but the firms did not publicly announce it until this week. The firms declined to disclose financial terms.

Established in 2005, Column Capital offers comprehensive wealth management, including tax planning, to high-net-worth clients. The firm defines “high net worth” as between $2 million and $20 million in assets, though some of its clients have assets worth as much as $100 million, said Column Capital Managing Director Brian Upchurch.

Upchurch said Column Capital’s entire 22-person staff remains with the combined firm with their same job titles, post-acquisition. “Everyone from our company moved over to Captrust,” he said.

The Indianapolis office, which will be rebranded under the Captrust name, is Captrust’s second Indiana office. In 2020, Captrust acquired a Chesterton-based firm then known as Lakeside Wealth Management. Lakeside had 27 employees and $1.6 billion in assets under advisement at the time of that acquisition.

“Captrust continues to expand in the major metro markets, and we are excited to add another office in Indiana, this time in Indianapolis,” Captrust Senior Director of Strategic Growth Rush Benton said in a written statement. “The team at Column Capital will help us build out our existing services like tax and investment management for clients across the firm.”

Captrust, which was founded in 1997, has expanded significantly since then. The Column Capital acquisition marks Captrust’s seventh acquisition this year and its 70th since 2006. As of June 30, Captrust had nearly 1,500 employees across 85 U.S. locations and was overseeing more than $832 billion in assets.

Upchurch said the Captrust acquisition was attractive for several reasons.

Being part of a larger firm allows Column Capital employees to focus on client service rather than the administrative details of running the business, he said.

Captrust also offers employees the chance to be owners of the firm. All employees are eligible to become a shareholder in the company after three years, and currently 59% of the firm’s employees are shareholders.

That ownership structure was also appealing to Column Capital, Upchurch said.

“We interviewed as many as 10 different companies [as potential acquirers] and Captrust was one of the few that really offered that. I feel like it really aligns the people of the firm with the mission of the firm. When you’re an owner, you act differently, and I think you have a more vested interest in the company.”

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