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Mercer Adds $1.4B in Assets From California, Texas Acquisitions

Mercer is expanding its footprint in California and Texas and bolstering its estate planning capabilities with two deals announced this week.

Denver-based Mercer Global Advisors, among the nation’s fastest-growing registered investment advisory firms, announced two acquisitions this week, adding 23 new employees with about $1.4 billion in client assets.

On Tuesday, Mercer announced the acquisition of Private Asset Management in San Diego, a team of 11 led by Jeff Witt that manages about $720 million for more than 600 clients.

Founded in 1993, the firm provides multi-generational wealth services, including financial planning, investment management, tax planning and preparation.

“When looking to combine with a new partner, it was essential that they too believe in providing their clientele with an enhanced service offering, not limited to just financial planning and investment management,” Witt said in a statement. “We knew we had found the right partner with Mercer Advisors offering a full set of family office services under their large roof.”

“Jeff and his team are highly credentialed planners and professionals with a deep bench of talent,” said Dave Barton, Mercer vice president and head of M&A. “Since we are in a service industry and you are only as good as your people, the addition of PAM’s impressive team to our service ranks bolsters our capabilities in California and beyond.”

Echelon Partners acted as the exclusive financial advisor, and Withers Bergman LLP served as legal counsel to Private Asset Management.

Echelon CEO and Managing Partner Dan Seivert called PAM "an ideal platform" for any national firm looking to establish a "beach head" in the San Diego market.

"As one of the wealthiest, fastest growing and most desirable business markets for entrepreneurs and corporations alike most buyers view it as a 'must have' for achieving big picture strategic and growth goals," Seivert said. "It just so happens PAM offers the scale, client base, wealth management solutions and advisor team that are ideal foundation to build off of."

On Wednesday, Mercer announced the acquisition of a 12-person team in the Dallas/Fort Worth area managing about $680 million for 340 clients.

Steward Wealth Management, in Colleyville, Texas, was founded in 2005 by Dustin Stiefel and Vince Hawkins. The firm offers portfolio design and management, goals-based financial planning, tax preparation and filing, and estate planning and administration—primarily for clients at or near retirement with between $1 million and $20 million in net worth, although work is underway to build out services for a younger clientele.

The team will establish Mercer’s eighth office in Texas, and its fourth in the Metroplex area.

“As my partners and I planned for the future, we realized we needed to add scale as well as adding more services for our clients,” Hawkins said in a statement. “We found a wonderful cultural fit between our two organizations and loved the fact that they offer in-house estate planning, tax planning and return preparation, among other services.”

“Steward has an excellent reputation for providing guidance for their clients that integrates financial planning, investments, tax and estate planning,” Mercer CEO Dave Welling said. “The Steward team will join our strong team in Texas and will elevate our position to one of the leading independent RIAs in the state.”

Majority owned by Genstar Capital and Oak Hill Capital, along with other minority investors, Mercer has been on a mission to establish itself as a leading national RIA and, early this year, refreshed its branding and messaging to reflect that goal. Established in 1985, the firm employs around 900 people, including 400 advisors, overseeing approximately $48 billion in client assets from more than 70 offices nationwide.  

PAM and Steward represent the sixth and seventh firms to join Mercer in 2023, following a week last month in which Mercer added two firms with around $580 million in assets, bringing total assets acquired this year close to $3 billion.  

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