His older brother George may have taken a political road to Washington, but Jonathan Bush is riding his investment talents to the nation's capital.
This week, Mr. Bush sold his firm, investment adviser J. Bush & Co., to Riggs National Corp., Washington.
Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, investment bankers estimated that Riggs paid $5.5 million for the New Haven-based firm, which has $275 million under management.
Like politics, finance runs in Mr. Bush's family. His father, Prescott Sheldon Bush, was a managing partner of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
Before starting his own company in 1970, Jonathan Bush worked for 10 years at his uncle's brokerage, G.H. Walker & Co.
That background made Mr. Bush and his company an attractive target for Riggs, said Timothy A. Lex, head of Riggs & Co., the bank's private banking arm.
Riggs National bought J. Bush to augment the investments it offers through Mr. Lex's unit, which manages $3 billion in personal trust accounts. Overall, Riggs National manages $5 billion of assets and has $10 billion under administration.
The acquisition "provides complementary investments and an excellent customer service culture," Mr. Lex said. J. Bush is keen on growth equity, while the bank's investment adviser focuses on value stocks.
J. Bush invests not only for well-to-do families but on behalf of Brown Group Inc., J.M. Smucker Co., Rite Aid Corp., and the Knights of Columbus. But the firm had no trust powers to take care of family assets and could not lend money.
"Riggs takes us across the river without having to build a bridge. It gives us the ability to be a full-service financial manager," Mr. Bush said.
He said he talked to other potential partners, but would not have counted on just any buyer for support in managing his clients' assets.
"The criticism one gets of major trust companies, and banks in general, is you have a investment manager assigned to your account, which is in a bunch of mutual funds," he said. "They don't know anything about you or who your children are. Then, in another year, another name is assigned to your account."
That brand of private client services, which typically costs 1% on a $1 million trust account, amounts to "short shrift" for "people with a lot of money," Mr. Bush said.
"The money manager should be in that person's life every day. That's the philosophy we will be bringing to Riggs. They have people who are extremely involved with clients, and we can help flesh that out a bit," he added.
Some say Riggs will be a good fit.
"It's probably a good move for Jon and his partners. The good thing is he'll be operating J. Bush as a subsidiary of Riggs," said Charles Walden, senior vice president for investments at the New Haven-based Knights of Columbus.