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Martine Lellis Mercer Photo by Diana Britton
Martine Lellis has been named principal of M&A partner development

Mercer Moves Chief Talent Officer to M&A Role

Martine Lellis, who joined Mercer as chief talent officer in 2020, will serve as principal of M&A partner development, supporting Dave Barton, who continues to lead M&A across the firm.

Mercer Global Advisors, one of the largest and fastest-growing registered investment advisors in the nation with over $60 billion in client assets, has promoted Martine Lellis, the firm’s chief talent officer since 2020, to principal of M&A partner development. The new position was created out of a need to handle the firm’s growing pipeline of RIA acquisition targets.

The news does not impact Dave Barton, who stepped down from his role as CEO in 2017 to serve as vice chairman of M&A. Barton will continue in that role, and Lellis’s promotion will allow him to focus on certain M&A deals.

The firm will conduct an executive search for a new chief talent officer, and Lellis will act in that role until someone is named.  

Lellis said the new role was a natural shift for her, given that she had seen over 55 deals close since joining the acquisitive RIA.

“Over these past 4 1/2 years, I’ve been able to work to build out what that means for the people coming through the mergers and acquisitions process,” she said. “Having 4 1/2 years of institutional knowledge of how mergers and acquisitions work inside the organization and also how talent strategy works inside the organization, it’s a natural pivot for my next phase.”

The move follows Mercer’s announcement in February that it hired five new executives to fill out its M&A partner development and integration teams. These executives are all tasked with bolstering the firm’s inorganic growth strategies.

That included Andy Burgess, former regional director of business development at NewEdge Advisors, who joined Mercer’s M&A partner development team as a vice president; Greg Mayes, former vice president of strategic business development at LPL Financial, who was added to that same team in a similar role; and Jay Robinson, former managing director at Schwab, who also came on board with the partner development team as a vice president.

Mercer also added Stacy Orff, former managing director and head of marketing at DeVoe & Company, as a vice president of platform marketing and Jeff Dadamo, a former executive at Dimensional Fund Advisors, as senior director of M&A investment integration.

Lellis will act as the face of Mercer at industry events and other places where prospective partner firms might be and help articulate what it looks like to be at Mercer. She’ll source deals, but also support the partner development team with due diligence and assessment of firms they’ve already sourced. She’ll help with negotiation and deal structure across the deal process, from signing purchase agreements to closing the acquisitions.

“Quite frankly, the pipeline is growing,” Lellis said. “There’s just so much opportunity, and there’s so much rightness for us to add someone that can really bring that executive presence to move those opportunities across the finish line.”

Prior to joining Mercer, Lellis served as chief operating officer at wealth management firm Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney.

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