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The Daily Brief

Mercer Strikes Again, Acquiring $910 Million RIA

The acquisition of M.J. Smith and Associates is part of a transition strategy for the RIA’s founder.

About a week after announcing its two latest RIA acquisitions, Mercer Advisors has announced another deal, this time buying Denver-based M.J. Smith and Associates, with $910 million in client assets.

The firm was founded by Mark J. Smith in 1983 and specializes in providing financial planning and investment management for high-net-worth clients. Smith and his 11 staff members will join Mercer.

“Despite all of our growth and success, we knew we were at the place of needing to build a robust internal or external succession plan,” Smith said in a statement. “We also understood that reaching true scale would require additional significant expenditure. The confluence of these forces drove me to reach out to Mercer Advisors. I met with David Barton, Mercer Advisors’ Vice Chairman who leads mergers and acquisitions. Over the following months he and I worked closely together to build the right transition strategy for me, for my staff and my clients.” 

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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