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United Community Banks to buy FinTrust Capital Partners

Ross Norton //May 13, 2021//

United Community Banks to buy FinTrust Capital Partners

Ross Norton //May 13, 2021//

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United Community Bank today announced that its Advisory Services division will expand through the acquisition of FinTrust Capital Partners and its operating subsidiaries, FinTrust Capital Advisors LLC, FinTrust Capital Benefit Group LLC and FinTrust Brokerage Service LLC.

FinTrust is a 13-year-old employee-owned investment advisory firm headquartered in Greenville with additional locations in Anderson, as well as the Georgia cities of Athens and Macon. The firm, which provides wealth and investment management services to individuals and institutions, had $2 billion in assets under management across its advisory, retirement planning and brokerage businesses at the end of March, according to a news release.

“Our investment advisory business has grown organically over the past several years and was expanded in 2020 with a broader product offering with the acquisition of Seaside and their wealth management business,” United Chairman and CEO Lynn Harton said in the release. “The addition of FinTrust, a strong and growing registered investment adviser, continues the expansion of our product offerings and gives us additional opportunities to provide a full range of financial services to our customers. We have known FinTrust for many years and we know they share our dedication to providing an integrated and expansive set of services to clients to help them achieve financial health and peace of mind. This opportunity significantly increases our advisory assets under management and adds an established team of professionals that we are very pleased to welcome to United.”

The transaction has been approved by United’s board of directors and is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and compliance with other customary closing conditions, the release said.

Once the transaction is complete, FinTrust will become an operating subsidiary of United, the release said, and certain businesses currently operating under the Seaside brand will be combined with FinTrust and its existing brand.

FinTrust cofounder Phillip Brice said the acquisition will strengthen his company.

“As managing partners, Pat Sheridan, Allen Gillespie and I are truly excited and energized by the potential of this partnership with United,” he said in the release. “We thoughtfully built our firm from the ground up and as a result we have attracted high quality, dedicated employees and loyal clients who are the cornerstone of our success. It has always been our focus to provide the highest quality service to our clients. We have built a highly scalable operation and with United’s resources, capital, and commitment to the investment advisory business, we are excited about our future growth throughout the Southeast.”

Squire Patton Boggs LLP serves as United’s legal counsel. Park Sutton Advisors LLC is financial adviser to FinTrust and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP serves as its legal counsel, the release said.

United has $18.6 billion in assets and 161 offices in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee along with a national SBA lending franchise and a national equipment lending subsidiary, the release said.