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United Capital Buys Two RIAs in Bid for More National Coverage

By Garrett Keyes April 3, 2019

RIA United Capital Financial Advisers has acquired two smaller RIAs in a push to enter the Quad Cities and Atlanta regions, according to a press release. The acquired firms manage over $800 million in client assets combined.

“Welcoming forward-looking firms like [Quad Cities-based] Irongate International and [Atlanta-centered] Peachtree Investment Advisors into United Capital is gratifying,” Matt Brinker, business development officer of $23 billion AUM United Capital, says.

Buying $455 million AUM Irongate and $345 million Peachtree also increases United’s presence in key markets, he claims. Quad Cities is a region of five metropolitain areas spread across Iowa and Illinois.

“Peachtree shares a cultural philosophy and alignment with United Capital. And United is the most innovative firm out there. They are making the client experience better from a technology standpoint and we are really excited to add that to our client experience,” Peachtree managing director Michael Wolf says.

Joining United also lets Peachtree “offload a lot of the back-office operations,” Wolf says.

The day-to-day of running a company can take your eye off serving clients, he says, adding that merging with United Capital relieves that pressure.

For Irongate the deal helps to “meet the challenges of their growing scale, client complexity, and increasing back office needs,” according to the press release.

Both Irongate’s and Peachtree’s teams will integrate into United Capital following the deals, adding to the firm's 95 nationwide offices.

Brinker says United Capital has no plans to stop buying firms.

“Our target is to acquire anywhere from [another] $3 [billion] to $4 billion in AUM in 2019. And the Peachtree and Irongate deals totaling over $800 million were the first closed transactions of the year,” he says.

Specific markets United will target include Boston, Portland, Ore., Minneapolis, Cleveland, and Los Angeles.

Matt Brinker

“If we find anchor firms in these locations that are between $300 million and $1 billion-plus in AUM,” United Capital will be opportunistic in acquisitions, he claims. “We are considered a national firm if you look at our map, but the gaps between offices are more pronounced in the Northeast, Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest,” Brinker adds. The acquisitions are a way to enter markets “we feel we don’t have a toehold in.”