Recruiting and dealmaking are off to a good start in 2017.

Wealth management firm Mercer Advisors of Santa Barbara says it has acquired an RIA in New York with about $100 million in client assets: Novos Planning Associates.

In 2016, Mercer acquired three investment advisors and a trust company. Its operations include Mercer Global Advisors, an RIA with over $9.4 billion in assets under management, as well as 200 employees and 22 branch offices.

“Aligning with complementary firms is a key component of our growth strategy, and the acquisition of Novos is a significant step forward in New York City,” said Mercer Advisors CEO David Barton, in a statement. “We anticipate further growth in the greater metropolitan area.”

In December, the firm announced that it had bought Fabian Wealth Strategies, an RIA with $95 million in assets in Costa Mesa, California.

“We continue to identify outstanding advisor firms as part of our ongoing efforts to build our national presence, and Novos is an excellent fit for our organization,” explained Barton.

“Madeline Noveck, founder of Novos, has been a vibrant part of the New York financial community for over 30 years and she and her team look forward to continuing their journey under the Mercer Advisors umbrella,” he added.

SII News 

Appleton, Wisconsin-based SII Investments, a broker-dealer in National Planning Holding’s network, says two advisor groups have reaffiliated with it and recently finished their transition back to its platform: JLM Financial of Bridgewater, New Jersey, with $120 million in client assets, and Capital Investment Advisers in Long Beach, California, with $100 million.

“We’re delighted to welcome JLM Financial and Capital Investment Advisers back to SII,” said SII President & CEO Todd Kinart, in a statement. “The newly enhanced platforms and resources we offer provide a wide range of advantages to support financial institutions and help them meet the evolving needs of their clients.”

JLM focuses on retirement and estate planning, as well as related investment and wealth-management services; it is led by Gerald Jay LaMalfa, who was affilated with SII from 2009 to 2012 before switching to LPL Financial for the past few years, according to FINRABrokerCheck records.

“I’m very pleased to have made the transition back to SII,” said LaMalfa. “I’m also excited about the outstanding technological capabilities that NPH has implemented across their network, which will assist us in managing our day-to-day operations.”

Capital Investment Advisers emphasizes financial planning and investment management and is led by Emerson J. Fersch. Fersch’s BrokerCheck records show he was affiliated with the Independent Financial Group for about two years after working on SII’s platform from 2003 to 2014. 

“Returning to SII will significantly improve our efficiency and provide greater freedom and flexibility to focus on our clients, knowing our practice management needs are met,” said the advisor.

NPH, an affiliate of Jackson National Life Insurance Company, is the holding company for INVEST Financial Corp., Investment Centers of America, National Planning Corporation and SII Investments. Together, the IBDs have over 3,400 registered representatives.

“We’re excited that Jay LaMalfa and Emerson Fersch have returned to the SII and the NPH organization,” said National Planning Holding President & CEO Scott Romine, in a statement. “Our platforms and resources offer a wide range of advantages that will enhance their businesses and provide attractive wealth management solutions to help their clients achieve their financial goals.”

According to industry consultant Jeff Nash, president of the Nash Consulting Group, over the past year, “NPH has dedicated significant resources in supporting the recruiting efforts of its four member broker-dealer firms, and they’re starting to see real results. Assuming this trend continues, it will be interesting to see NPH emerge as a serious competitor to the more widely recognized IBDs out there today.”