Mercer Global Advisors, a rapidly growing “integrator” of registered investment advisors, today announced the acquisition of The Asset Advisory Group, a Cincinnati-based RIA managing approximately $370 million in assets for around 160 clients.
Founded in 1988 by Jeannette Jones, TAAG offers a three-tiered business model focused around planning, investment and management. Jones was joined by her partner, TAAG President David “Chip” Workman, in 2008.
“Our clients are like family to us, and as fiduciaries we put their interests above our own,” said Jones, in a statement announcing the deal. “This fiduciary mandate also requires us to prepare for the day that neither myself nor Chip will be around to serve them. It is therefore incumbent on us to develop a succession strategy to make sure our clients continue to receive the highest professional care long after Chip and I are no longer with the business.”
Jones said that neither she nor Workman have plans to retire in the near term, but the need for a succession plan was “clear and present” and selling the firm would solve that need while also allowing both partners to focus more on their clients who can now access a broader set of services available through a platform like Mercer.
“[W]e found extremely high cultural alignment between our two firms beginning with putting clients’ interests first, and also taking great care of our teams,” said Workman. “We also loved that they have in-house estate planning, in-house tax return preparation, and provide turnkey corporate trustee services, including bill pay.
“Jeannette and Chip have built a top-tier RIA that leads with financial planning that delivers advisor alpha to their clients every day. This is exactly the business model we have built on top of our family office chassis,” said David Barton, head of M&A at Mercer.
“[T]heir brand is strong,” said Mercer CEO Dave Welling. “We are thrilled to be expanding our presence in Ohio with a team that has deep connections to the community.”
Founded in 1985, Denver-based Mercer has now added 69 firms. Majority investments by private equity firms Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital allowed the RIA to significantly ramp up mergers and acquisitions activity in recent years and Mercer has added 15 new firms in 2022 with approximately $6.6 billion in collective AUM. With another scheduled to close by the end of the month, it is among the fastest-growing RIAs in the nation, claiming more than $38 billion in client assets.