Minneapolis (Jan. 2, 2004) -- Capital Professional Advisors Inc. has reached $2 billion in assets under management, the group announced.

Capital, which was formed in September 2000, is jointly owned by its 15 founding accounting firms and Nationwide Financial Services Inc. Its current offerings include investment advisory, brokerage, insurance, trust services, and qualified and nonqualified retirement plans.

At the time the venture was formed, consolidators were taking the accounting profession by storm. The founding firms, which represent some of the nation’s largest, banded together in an effort to buck the consolidation trend and help middle-market firms expand into financial services while remaining independent.

Capital’s member firms, which collectively represent $625 million in revenue, include top-ranked firms Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co., Clifton Gunderson, Eide Bailly, Elliott Davis, Larson, Allen, Weishair & Co., and LeMaster & Daniels.

For a brief time, the venture was a subsidiary of CPA2Biz, the American Institute of CPAs’ portal. CPA2Biz acquired Capital in July of 2001. In May of 2002, Nationwide Financial Services inked a $7.5 million deal with CPA2Biz to become a preferred provider for Capital’s firms. Capital cut ties with CPA2Biz in November of 2002. In February of this year, former Capital president and one of its founders, Doug Wright, left the venture, citing a break with his board members over strategies to grow the firm.

President Cindy Carlson said Capital will take a two-pronged approach going forward -- it will continue to help its founding firms grow and succeed, while actively seeking additional CPA firms already established in the financial services business looking to take their financial services practice to the next level.

-- WebCPA staff

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