Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Mercer Advisors has acquired two registered investment advisors, bringing its total client assets to $11.6 billion. The firm has added Murray & Co., an Austin, Texas-based RIA with $85 million in assets and Pinnacle Investment Management, a Hartford, Conn.-based firm with $183 million in client assets. Since the beginning of 2017, Mercer has acquired eight firms with assets totaling $1.2 billion.
The acquisition of Murray & Co., which was founded by Dean Murray, brings Mercer’s Texas-based assets to over $2 billion. In 2016, Mercer merged with Houston-based Kanaly Trust as well as Dallas-based Pegasus Advisors.
Pinnacle, founded by CEO John Eckel, expands the firm’s Northeast presence. Mercer has acquired four RIAs in the Northeast in the last two years, including Pinnacle; Fairfield, Conn.-based Spruce Hill; New York-based Novos Planning and Little Neck, N.Y.-based Ray Mignone & Associates.
Unlike other big players in the RIA M&A space, Mercer integrates the firms it brings onboard. “It’s not the aggregator model, which says, ‘Join us, we’ll take care of the overhead, you keep doing everything you want to do,’” said CEO Dave Welling. The firms Mercer is attracting “want to be part of an organization with a common purpose and a unified model.”
Welling, who left SS&C Advent in June to lead Mercer, was named one of WealthManagement.com’s Ten to Watch in 2018.
In 2015, Genstar Capital, a private equity firm based in San Francisco, acquired a majority stake in Mercer from Lovell Minnick.