First Capital acquired by North Carolina private equity firm

Announces new headquarters and CEO

First Capital CEO David Eichenbaum and president Chris Foregger.

Milwaukee-based trust company First Capital Surety & Trust Co. has been acquired by Belmont, North Carolina-based private equity firm Gaston Capital Partners.

First Capital CEO David Eichenbaum and president Chris Foregger.
First Capital CEO David Eichenbaum and president Chris Foregger.

First Capital, which has 27 employees, was previously owned by Frank Maguire. The transaction was completed in November, said Chris Foregger, president of First Capital.

Gaston has invested $12 million total in First Capital, including the acquisition, buildout and some new IT infrastructure, Foregger said. About $750,000 of that went toward the buildout.

David Eichenbaum was appointed chief executive officer of First Capital and Foregger was appointed president and chief operating officer this month.

“Since First Capital Surety & Trust was purchased by Gaston Capital and its partners in 2015, both David and Chris have been serving in interim positions,” said Michael McMahan, chairman of the board of directors. “Impressed with the strong management team, the board enthusiastically voted to make the appointments permanent. We feel fortunate to have these exceptional professionals to lead this company as we work to broaden our services and our customer base.”

First Capital is also moving its headquarters from a 5,000-square-foot space at 230 W. Wells St. in downtown Milwaukee to a 9,855-square-foot space at 234 W. Florida St. in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood. The move is expected to be complete by the end of July.

The Milwaukee company, which focuses on personal injury settlement trusts, has added 10 of its 27 employees in the past three years. It has a national client base of about 1,500 and has been growing quickly, Foregger said.

“The trust company, I would say, has tripled in size over the last five years in terms of assets under management,” he said. “That focus (on trust settlements) has allowed us to build a really good customer service model and we have an excellent reputation in the industry because of that.”

First Capital, which was founded in 1999, now has about $500 million in assets under management. It is a South Dakota-chartered trust firm.

“We’ve just outgrown the current space,” Foregger said. “Really, the plan is we very much expect to continue to grow. The new space not only doubles our current size, but it’s just set up for us to grow into better as well.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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