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Mercer Acquires $850M Rowland Carmichael Advisors

Rowland Carmichael Advisors' appeal is a retirement plan business that Mercer will add to its $2 billion ERISA services.

Mercer Advisors acquired a Scottsdale, Ariz., firm advising more than $850 million in investor and retirement plan assets, the company announced Wednesday. Mercer closed on the Rowland Carmichael Advisors transaction on Dec. 31, 2020.

Mercer will combine the RCA family with its existing Scottsdale office and help grow the firm’s presence in the Southwest, said Mercer CEO David Welling in a company statement. Terms of the deal were not released.

Founded in 1986 by Tim Rowland and David Carmichael, RCA is a fee-based multi-family office that advises approximately 240 high-net-worth clients, qualified retirement plans and corporations. 

Mercer appealed to RCA principals because of its in-house services in estate planning, tax preparation and corporate trustee services. "It was the choice of building it or joining it, and we chose to join it," said Carmichael. 

“While we have a strong team and great next generation talent and leadership, David and I realized that we needed to find a like-minded partner that could not only provide a business continuity plan for us, our clients, and staff, but also help us scale and leverage off our operation,” said Rowland.

RCA’s next generation of talent includes shareholders Jaron Carmichael, David's son who has been with the RIA since 2012, and Corey Bird who’s worked for RCA for the past 13 years.

“Tim and David have built a tremendous business. What they lacked, however, was the requisite scale and leverage they wanted so they could spend more time doing the things they loved like serving clients and winning new ones,’ said David Barton, vice chairman at Mercer in charge of acquisitions.

Barton said the Denver-based RIA aggregator saw synergies with RCA’s retirement plan services for its own ERISA business, which oversees $2 billion in client assets. 

RCA is Mercer’s 40th firm, and its fourth acquisition announcement for 2021. Mercer has over 45 locations, over 500 employees and has a total $26 billion in client assets. 

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