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RIA Roundup: Mercer Scoops Up 2 Firms, $580M in Assets

Mercer Global Advisors picked up two more firms with more than half a billion in combined assets, while Robertson Stephens, WEG, NewEdge Wealth, Hub International, Kestra, and RFG all announced new additions this week.

Mercer Global Advisors announced two acquisitions this week, adding more than half a billion in client assets, while Robertson Stephens added a New Jersey firm managing around $285 million.

In other deals announced this week, Wealth Enhancement Group expanded its Denver presence; NewEdge Wealth grew its Miami office with the addition of an equity portfolio manager from Wellington Management; Hub International added retirement planning expertise; Kestra Financial added a five-person team from Cetera; and an RFG independent advisor joined an RFG firm.

In earlier reported news, Cerity Partners added $2.5 billion AUM AJ Wealth in New York City.

Mercer Scoops Up 2 Firms, $580M in Assets

Mercer Global Advisors has acquired Day & Ennis, an SEC-registered firm based in Macon, Ga.

Day & Ennis firm was founded in 1998 by John Day, who was later joined by partners William Ennis and Matthew Heller. The firm manages about $400 million for more than 250 clients.

“We realized we needed to add scale to our business as well as bring other expertise under our business tent,” Day said in a statement. “For us, it was a decision to either build it ourselves or join an existing larger firm that shared our mission, vision, and values, with the scale and additional in-house services we were looking to add.”

Day said he was introduced to Dave Barton, who heads up mergers and acquisitions activity for Mercer, by John Eubanks, managing director at boutique investment bank Park Sutton Advisors.

“Smaller markets like Macon continue to be an attractive opportunity for RIA acquisitions,” said Eubanks. “I have known John, Bill and Matt for more than 15 years, and they have always maintained a client-centric, planning first mentality. Wealth management firms that lead with financial planning remain highly sought after.”

Mercer also announced the acquisition of Mallard Financial Partners in Newark, Del., with 13 employees, including 10 advisors, managing more than $180 million in client assets for about 230 clients and 10 charities. It was founded in 1996 by Paul Baumbach, and is co-managed by Baumbach and Joe Daigle.

“[We are] cognizant that the next growth phase of our firm requires a significant infrastructure build,” Baumbach said in a statement. “We determined that the best path forward for our clients, and us, was to join a firm that had already accomplished this heavy lift, rather than to build it from scratch.”

Based in Denver and majority owned by Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital, Mercer Global Advisors manages around $48 billion in client assets across more than 80 locations nationwide.

Tom Hagerstrom Joins Robertson Stephens, Creating 4th NE Office

Robertson Stephens Wealth Management has grown its presence in the nation’s Northeast with the addition of Haymarket Wealth Management in Madison, N.J., an RIA managing approximately $285 million in client assets.

Founder Tom Hagerstrom will join Robertson Stephens as principal and managing director, representing the firm's fourth office in the region and its third in the New York tri-state area. Prior to founding Haymarket in 2012, Hagerstrom was in investment banking with JPMorgan after spending seven years as a managing director at Bear Stearns.

The addition brings Robertson Stephens to more than $4.1 billion in assets, with 79 employees across 17 locations in California, Idaho, Texas, Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York City and, now, New Jersey. The firm has its headquarters in San Francisco.

"Joining Robertson Stephens allows me to provide a broader set of services for my clients," Hagerstrom said in a statement. "The firm's integration between wealth planning and investment management is aligned with my philosophy of a personalized and integrated approach to wealth management.”

Robertson Stephens completes between two and five acquisitions a year, according to CEO Raj Bhattacharyya.

“Our ability is to work intimately with those firms to see what's working, what isn't and effectively cross pollinate those best practices to other businesses,” he said, speaking on a panel of M&A experts hosted by PR firm JConnelly in New York City last month. “So, the reason why we're able to grow so well both inorganically and organically is because we're helping firms tap into what's working.”

Wealth Enhancement Group Grows in Denver With Ryan Financial

Wealth Enhancement Group, a Minneapolis-based RIA with more than $65 billion in assets, announced the acquisition of Ryan Financial in Denver. Led by CEO Robert Ryan and President Erik Anderson, the four-person team oversees more than $200 million in client assets, including $31 million in brokerage assets held at LPL Financial. 

"After 23 years as a private, independent firm, the partners and advisors at Ryan Financial Inc. are eager to join forces with Wealth Enhancement Group,” Ryan said in a statement. “We are aligned with the firm's values, and this partnership will allow us to offer our clients additional services through Wealth Enhancement Group's Roundtable team of specialists." 

"We are excited to be expanding our presence in the Denver metro area. Robert, Erik and the team will help us accelerate growth in the market,” added WEG Chief Investments and Business Development Officer Jim Cahn.

The addition of Ryan brings WEG to more than $67.2 billion in advisory, trust and brokerage assets across more than 53,000 clients nationwide.

NewEdge Wealth Expands Miami Office With Former Wellington Management Partner

NewEdge Wealth, a boutique RIA serving ultra-wealthy clients, has added Gregory Pool to its growing Miami office, established last October and led by Managing Director Patrick Dwyer.

Pool joins from Wellington Management, a Boston-based asset manager with more than $1.2 trillion in regulatory assets under management, where he managed multi-billion-dollar global equity portfolios, according to an announcement. The ninth member on the Miami team, he will work alongside Dwyer as a managing director at the firm and sit on the NewEdge Wealth investment committee.

"Bringing Gregory aboard serves to bolster our portfolio management services and drive continued growth as we utilize his years of experience in managing global portfolios and teams," said CEO and co-founder Rob Sechan. "Our Miami office opened less than a year ago, and we continue to attract incredibly talented individuals to that team."

“South Florida remains one of the best markets to serve ultra-high-net worth families, especially as they consider generational transfer in a turbulent market environment," added Pool.

After launching in December 2020, NewEdge Wealth has grown rapidly organically and through acquisitions, currently overseeing several billion in assets for fewer than 2,000 ultra-wealthy clients. Based in Stamford, Conn., the firm has eight additional locations after expanding into three new markets in 2023, adding advisors and office space in San Francisco, Nashville and northwest Arkansas.

NewEdge Wealth is part of NewEdge Capital Group, along with NewEdge Advisors, the firm’s platform partnership model, and NewEdge Securities, which offers institutional trading services and related technology. Together, they oversee a collective $36 billion in assets for more than 75,000 clients.

Hub International Bolsters Retirement Planning Capabilities With SC Firm

Hub International Limited, a global insurance brokerage and financial services firm based in Chicago, has acquired the assets of Golden Green, Inc., d.b.a. Golden Corner Wealth Advisors, as it continues to build out its retirement and private wealth division.

Located in Seneca, S.C., Golden Corner provides wealth management and retirement planning services for around 380 clients, two charities and a handful of corporations with more than $130 million in managed assets, per a Form ADV filed early last month.

Founder Jim Charbonneau and a team of three will join Hub Carolinas, helping Hub to expand retirement consulting services in the region, according to an announcement. The several RIA affiliates under the retirement and private wealth business currently oversee approximately $148 billion. 

The team will retain branding, with the addition of a Hub tagline.

$120M Team Joins Kestra Financial

Kestra Financial announced the addition of Mission Financial Planners, a hybrid RIA with $120 million in client assets previously with Cetera.

Led by managing members Kenneth Hamilton, Jason Duffaut and Matt Donaghue, the five-person team provides financial education, wealth management and retirement planning services for clients at every age.

“We needed a partner that would let us be independent and enhance our entrepreneurial spirit while supporting our growth initiatives through competitive marketing, business consulting and compliance resources to help us grow,” Donaghue said in a statement.

Mission will gain access to the full ecosystem of Kestra services and resources, according to the announcement, including an investment management platform backed by a team of experts.

“Welcoming Matt, Kenneth, and Jason strategically made sense—our values align and geographically, they are based in our backyard in San Antonio,” said Kestra EVP of Business Development Daniel Schwamb. “We look forward to enhancing their business and providing them with more freedom to serve their clients.”

Based in Austin, the Kestra Financial platform comprises a branded broker/dealer and two RIAs supporting more than 1,800 advisors with more than $150 billion in managed and advised assets.

RFG Firm in Alabama Adds RFG Advisor

Brock Eson, an independent advisor on the RFG Advisory platform, has joined another RFG firm, Investor’s Resource in Huntsville, Ala., as partner.

A Huntsville native, Eson has been running his own practice for almost three years, following more than 12 each with Pittman Financial Partners and Strategic Financial Partners in Birmingham, Ala., according to his LinkedIn page.

Investor’s Resource is now a six-person team, led by CEO and founder Shari Burnum.

The firm provides advisory services through RFG Advisory, a Birmingham-based hybrid RIA partnership platform providing services, technology and resources, and offers securities though “RIA friendly” broker/dealer Private Client Services. There are more than 35 partners on the RFG platform, comprising close to 200 employees and 90 advisors overseeing $3 billion in assets for almost 10,000 clients.

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