Skip navigation
Managing Partner John Langston (left) and Partner Peter Nesvold outside the Republic Capital Group's new office.

Republic Capital Group Moves Headquarters from Houston to NYC

Republic Capital Group moves from Space City to the Big Apple in a bid for proximity and talent.

Republic Capital Group became the newest tenant at 50 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City last week. After eight years in Houston, the boutique investment bank for wealth and asset managers has moved its base of operations in a bid to attract talent and increase visibility.

Founded in late 2015 by Managing Partner John Langston, RCG has quietly become one of the most dominant M&A players in the independent wealth management space, responsible for advising on $52 billion in assets transacted last year—or about 18% of the total tracked by Fidelity Institutional.

“People can quibble about who's the biggest,” Langston said. “The bottom line is we’re a clear leader, and we’re proud of what we’ve done even if we don’t have that name recognition yet. We're proud of the executive team we've built and the strength of investment banking experience on our team. And we don’t use consultants, so we’re all on the same side and playing the same game—everyone on the team either works here or is a partner.”

In late 2021, industry veteran Peter Nesvold became the second partner—and fifth team member—at RCG. He was joined in early 2022 by Vic Esclamado, a former managing director at competitor DeVoe and Company.

In January, Blake Cargill became the firm’s fourth partner after six years serving as vice president. Three months later, Jim Collins joined as partner and general counsel from Winhall River Consulting, where he spent about a year as CEO. Collins had previously served as general counsel for Silver Lane Advisors—an RIA founded by Nesvold and his wife, Cresset Advisors President Liz Nesvold—before moving to Raymond James when it purchased the firm in 2019.

Including five additional staff members, the bulk of the 10-person team will report to the new office at least three days a week, while Dallas-based Esclamado is likely to establish a new Texas hub and Langston will split time between Houston and NYC.

The move was motivated by the sheer concentration of talent and industry players in New York City as RCG positions itself for accelerated growth, according to the partners.

“Obviously, the highest concentration of investment banking talent is here in New York City,” said Langston. “We want to be sure we’re tapping into that.”

“Moving our headquarters to New York makes a lot of sense,” agreed Esclamado. “It gives us access to top industry talent as we grow and, of course, makes it easier to meet with our industry contacts and clients in New York and the East Coast.”

“Most of the top law firms in the country have an office in NYC and many are within a few blocks of our office, which is ideal for both clients and us,” added Collins, noting he began his own career about six blocks away at Bingham McCutchen. “I’m excited to be back in Midtown Manhattan.”

Nesvold said the new office space, which can accommodate a team of 16 comfortably, still feels a bit like a “bachelor pad.”

“We have furniture, but nothing up on the walls,” he explained. “It’s almost like we’re starting over when it comes to all the furnishings, but it’s exciting. It just feels like a really big, new chapter in our history book.”

The plan for the coming year is to hire three or four new team members and increase the number of deals getting done to around 20 a year, up from the current rate of about one a month. According to Langston, the longer-term goal is to eventually reposition as more of a merchant banking firm and serve clients from financing and long-term perspectives as well.

“Maybe doing some transitional things and identifying unique investment opportunities that are outside wealth and asset management,” he said. “Like helping firms connect the dots on private investments and bespoke opportunities the way a traditional merchant banking firm would.”

“There are many fine firms that, once the deal is done, sort of take a step back and are no longer involved in the organization,” said Nesvold. “In contrast, we've continued to be an important stakeholder in a number of situations because they see us not only as a source of deal flow, but they know that we look at dozens and dozens of firms every year and have collectively looked at a couple hundred RIAs over the last decade or so. There's a lot of perspective that comes with that and it's one of the ways that we want to continue to add value to the industry.

“I think you'll eventually see us either investing our own money or, possibly, raising money to invest on behalf of others to continue to do deals in the space,” he said.

Among notable deals RCG has completed over the last year are the sale of CPA firm BerganKDV to Creative Planning and Parallel’s acquisition of Autus Investment Management in a three-way transaction that swapped out a minority investor for a majority owner. Each was named a finalist in four ‘deal of the year’ categories for investment banking awards set to be presented by The M&A Advisor in New York City next week.

Republic Capital Group is itself up for boutique investment bank of the year and Langston is one of five finalists in the running for investment banker of the year.

“We’ll now be able to generate even more value for clients in different ways,” Langston said. “It’s really a reflection of the commitment we're making to be the strongest and best that we can be to help clients in this space.”

TAGS: Industry
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.