Cary Street Partners acquires Innsbrook firm

cary st partners office

Cary Street Partners’ office in Shockoe Bottom. (BizSense file photo)

Making good on an assertion earlier this year that it’s hungry for acquisitions, a downtown financial firm has snatched up an Innsbrook wealth management company.

Cary Street Partners, through its recently renamed holding company Luxon Financial, this month acquired Rafalko Advisors, an 8-year old firm founded by Celia Rafalko.

The deal closed Dec. 1. Terms were not disclosed.

Joe Schmuckler, CEO of Cary Street Partners, said the deal gives the Shockoe Slip-based firm a more visible, physical Richmond presence for its wealth management operations.

CSP’s business has evolved in recent years. It historically billed itself as a wealth management and investment banking firm, but has shifted toward its wealth management operations, which largely had grown outside Richmond. It has 13 offices in six states.

“Fundamentally what it does is for the first time puts in place a (wealth management) sales office in the Richmond metropolitan area,” Schmuckler said. “We have our headquarters here, but this is our first sales office here.”

Celia Rafalko

Celia Rafalko

He said Rafalko Advisors brings around $140 million in clients assets under management, bringing CSP’s total to $2.5 billion. It also adds Rafalko, now a director of the firm, her two employees and her offices in Innsbrook and Leesburg.

“She’s been growing this business for quite a long time and she’s built a nice book,” Schmuckler said. “We’ve been talking about how we can both help each other.”

He said the firm particularly was attracted to Rafalko’s foothold in 401(k) and corporate benefit services.

“We want to deepen our penetration into small and mid-size businesses in the region,” he said. “We also own an insurance agency and manage an insurance wholesale business and we’d like to be able to present a fuller package of corporate benefits to our clients.”

Rafalko, who was a higher-up at the former Wachovia Securities until its move to St. Louis in 2008, started her firm in 2009 to serve individuals and businesses, mostly privately held.

Rafalko said the deal allows her practice to broaden its reach geographically and have access to a larger swath of clients.

“We’re looking forward to having a productive partnership,” she said.

Joining Rafalko in the Innsbrook office will be Christina Todd, who joined Cary Street Partners earlier this year from Morgan Stanley.

The deal follows an $18.9 million capital raise for CSP earlier this year. Those funds were gathered in part to fuel growth via acquisition and recruitment. However, Schmuckler said discussions of this acquisition predate the capital raise.

Rafalko’s group will work at 4860 Cox Road, but Schmuckler said it likely will look for new space around the West End.

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