Using backing from Genstar Capital, Mercer Advisors acquired a Camarillo, Calif., wealth management firm that prepares over 4,000 tax returns annually.
AL Hewitt brings 120 clients and $100 million in assets under management to Mercer. It will join the nine existing Mercer offices in California that have a total $5 billion in AUM and serve more than 3,000 clients. Mercer’s overall AUM is $17 billion.
The small fee-only advisory firm is run by Alan E. Hewitt, who started AL Hewitt in 2006, two decades after founding the tax advice part of the business with his wife, Josette Hewitt. The firm includes CFPs Alan and Josette and their son Alan Charles Hewitt, as well as three tax advisors and two tax consultants.
Succession planning was one of the key reasons Hewitt sold his practice, he said. Hewitt said he doesn’t plan on retiring but wanted to ensure his clients would be taken care and that his staff would have “career path opportunities” such as management and supervisory positions.
Private equity firm Oak Hill Capital bought a portion of Mercer Advisors in July 2019 and shares co-majority ownership with Genstar, which took ownership from Lovell Minnick in 2015.
Using that capital infusion, Mercer has been on a buying spree since 2016. acquiring 32 advisory firms, according to Vice Chairman Dave Barton. Seven of those transactions were completed in the past year (including AL Hewitt) and the RIA is planning to acquire five more by the end of the year.
“The demand is out there and if the partnership is right then we’re going to move forward with it,” Barton said. “We want to be in good demographic markets. Big cities, essentially, but also up-and-coming cities.”