Mercer Global Advisors Inc. of Denver said Wednesday that it has acquired Regent Wealth Management Group Inc., a registered investment advisor based in Woodbridge, Conn. that serves approximately 110 high-net-worth households with assets under management of about $300 million.
The addition allows Mercer, which was put up for sale by its majority owner, Genstar Capital, a month ago, to increase its Northeast presence to 11 branch offices with $2.7 billion in AUM. Mercer now has three offices in Connecticut and 43 total with AUM over $16.5 billion.
Genstar acquired a majority interest in Mercer in March 2015. Since then, the RIA has been on an acquisition tear, with aspirations to become a national brand. In 2017, the firm brought on Dave Welling, who grew Black Diamond into a tech powerhouse, to lead the firm so founder David Barton could focus on mergers and acquisitions strategy.
Dan Seivert, CEO of Echelon Partners, the Manhattan Beach, Calif., investment bank, wrote in an email Wednesday that “Mercer continues to take a proactive approach to finding and closing deals,” adding that despite being on the block, in this day and age of heightened merger activity the company still has to grow to impress potential suitors. “Just because a company puts itself up for sale or registers for an IPO does not mean it can slow down its acquisition machine,” he said. “It is actually quite the contrary. Buyers want to see an unabated continuation of inorganic growth, and if the seller can show that, they will enjoy higher valuation multiples.” ‘
According to San Francisco-based consulting firm and investment bank DeVoe & Company’s second quarter RIA Deal Book report, which was published in July, Mercer was an active participant in M&A in the first half of 2019 with four acquisitions of RIAs, targeting smaller and mid-size advisors.
Regent was founded by Alan P. Weiss in 1987.
Mercer is privately held with over 360 employees. Lovell Minnick, its previous majority owner, owns less than 25% of the company. Genstar, the majority owner, hired Goldman Sachs to advise on Mercer’s sale. Mercer is seeking 15 to 16 times pro forma, run-rate EBITDA, which is currently about $50 million, according to Buyouts Insider.
Genstar owns several firms in the wealth management space, including Cetera Financial Group, a network of independent broker/dealers, which it acquired last summer.