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Mercer Acquires $850M Arizona RIA

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RIA Mercer Global Advisors has acquired Rowland Carmichael Advisors (RCA), a wealth management firm in Scottsdale, Arizona, with more than $850 million in assets under management and advisement.

The news comes just two days after Mercer said it bought McGee Wealth Management, an RIA in Portland, Oregon, with about $815 million in assets and only six days after Mercer said it bought Atlanta Financial Associates, an RIA with about $815 million in assets.

Arizona-based RCA serves about 240 clients and was founded by Tim Rowland, its chairman, and David Carmichael, its president, in 1986. It provides wealth management services to high-net-worth clients, including a retirement plan service business.

The transaction closed Dec. 31, and financial terms were not disclosed.

RCA has four shareholders and principals: Rowland, Carmichael and next-generation wealth managers Jaron Carmichael and Corey Bird. In all, nine RCA team members are joining Mercer.

“While we have a strong team and great next generation talent and leadership, David and I realized that we needed to find a like-minded partner that could not only provide a business continuity plan for us, our clients, and staff, but also help us scale and leverage of our operation,” Rowland said in the announcement.

For the RCA team, “it was the choice of building it or joining it, and we decided to join it,” according to David Carmichael. “Although we had other options, we found that Mercer Advisors was the best partner for us going forward. We loved that they offer in-house family office services including estate planning, tax return preparation, and corporate trustee services.”

More Views on the Deal

Despite their strength, the RCA team lacked the “requisite scale and leverage they wanted so they could spend more time doing the things they loved like serving clients and winning new ones,” explained David Barton, Mercer vice chairman and head of M&As, in a statement.

“Like many business owners, wearing multiple hats drains your time and talent, and it prevents high quality professionals from maximizing their highest and best use,” Barton said. “Joining Mercer Advisors solved that issue for them.”

RCA also “has a strong retirement plan service business we believe can augment and energize” Mercer’s $2 billion-plus AUM Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) business,” he added, calling it a “great fit for both parties.”

Noting that he has known the RIA’s founders for many years, Mercer CEO Dave Welling, said in a statement that the new teams has a combined 100-plus years “of deep industry knowledge and strong local and industry relationships to Mercer Advisors that will bolster our already strong presence in the Southwest.”

RCA will be “combining with our existing local office in Scottsdale, Arizona, and contribute to our strong growth in Arizona,” Welling added.

Denver-based Mercer Global Advisors has about $26 billion in client assets and about 170 advisors. Its parent company is Mercer Advisors, which has over 500 employees and operates nationally with more than 45 locations. Oak Hill and Genstar are majority owners of Mercer Advisors, along with Mercer management.