Judy Shine has repurchased the Colorado-based RIA firm that she sold to Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation in 2007.

The transaction continues a trend of RIAs buying back their firms from large financial services concerns that decided to shed non-core assets following the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

Western Alliance had purchased Shine Investment Advisory Services as part of its strategy to buy RIA firms in multiple markets in the western U.S. and refer affluent bank clients to them.

But after the real estate and financial tsunami hit in 2008, Western Alliance--like many banks with a lot of loans in Arizona and Nevada--was forced to focus on its survival.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. However, the synergies between Shine's RIA and the parent never materialized, she said.

Industry consultants have noted that cultural conflicts frequently surface when banks acquire entrepreneurial RIAs. Shine declined to elaborate on whether this was an issue in her case. But she did say that after five years of succession planning, she was going back to the drawing board and that the firm just added a fourth partner.

In recent years, several RIAs have found themselves unwinding sales of their firms. In 2009, Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sand Hill Advisors bought its outstanding shares back from Boston Private Financial Holdings and Charlotte-based Kingfisher Capital repurchased its majority interest from WealthTrust.

--Evan Simonoff