AssetMark Inc., a provider of investment and consulting solutions for financial advisors, is being bought by a Chinese company, Huatai Securities, AssetMark announced Tuesday.

The $780 million deal is expected to close before the end of the year, according to Bloomberg News. The purchase is the largest financial services acquisition by a listed Chinese brokerage in almost three years.

Huatai, based in Hong Kong, agreed to buy AssetMark, based in Concord, Calif., from private equity firms Aquiline Capital Partners and Genstar Capital.

The Chinese firm provides brokerage and wealth management, investment banking, asset management and investment and trading services to retail investors, institutional investors and corporate clients.

As of the end of last year, Huatai was ranked the number one broker by stock and funds trading volume and number four in terms of total assets among Chinese securities companies. The firm is publicly traded on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges with a market capitalization of more than $18.5 billion.

After the transaction closes, AssetMark will remain an independent company operating under its own name with the same portfolio strategist lineup and custodian options, the company said.
“As a management team with ownership that ensures alignment of interest in our continued success, we are confident we have the right partner to invest in AssetMark's next stage of growth,” said Charles Goldman, president and CEO of AssetMark.

AssetMark was purchased by private equity firms Aquiline Capital Partners and Genstar Capital in 2013 from Genworth Financial. This is Huatai’s first investment in the United States.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is urging domestic companies to go abroad as part of his push to develop firms that can compete with global peers, according to Bloomberg News.