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Mercer to Buy $660 Million AUM ClearRock Capital

The move to sell was part of ClearRock’s business continuity strategy.

Just a day after announcing its acquisition of Beverly Hills, Calif.-based registered investment advisor Argosy Wealth Management, Mercer Advisors is at it again, with a deal to acquire ClearRock Capital, a Sun Valley, Idaho-based wealth management firm with over $660 million in client assets.

This deal is Mercer’s third so far this year and its first location in Idaho. ClearRock also has a location in San Francisco.

ClearRock provides holistic wealth management to high-net-worth clients, but also manages funds for foundations and endowments. The firm was founded in 2007 by Mark Eshman and James Everitt, who said the move to sell was not an exit strategy, but rather a way to ensure business continuity.

“As a result, we were looking for a partner that respects what we bring to the table, supports what we do really well, and of course, takes over time consuming middle and back office work that robbed us of needed capacity,” Eshman said in a statement. “Also, and as a larger firm with experienced and seasoned staff, operating two locations, serving different client segments with different needs. This was not going to be a cookie cutter transaction for the successful buyer. We needed a sophisticated partner that appreciated all our nuances and had the expertise to successfully close this transaction with all its complexities. After meeting with Dave Barton, former CEO of Mercer Advisors who now heads up Mergers and Acquisitions, I knew we found the right partner. Dave Barton understands our business, he successfully navigated the difficult parts of our combination making us stronger in the process and got us across the finish line in an uncertain COVID-19 world.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed down CEO Dave Welling and acquisition architect Barton’s strategy of growth by rapid acquisition. In fact, the virus is the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Barton, in that it accelerated more firms rushing to take advantage of sky-high valuations. Recent acquisitions bring the firm to over $20 billion in assets.

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