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Mercer Bolsters Pacific NW Presence with Latest Purchase 

By Thomas Coyle August 18, 2017

Mercer Advisors has bought another RIA. The Santa Barbara, Calif., wealth firm has added Bellevue, Wash.-based Blue Moon Wealth Advisory, marking its eighth acquisition in less than twenty months.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t made public.

Blue Moon, which manages more than $90 million, “is a strong cultural fit for” Mercer due to its “financial planning and comprehensive wealth approach,” Mercer’s CEO Dave Welling says in a press release.

In turn Blue Moon’s founder Michael Greiner says, “Mercer is a great fit for us” because, like Blue Moon, it’s “a fee-only firm that puts their clients first,” according to the same press release.

Mercer says in the release it will take over Blue Moon’s office in Bellevue “as part of its efforts to expand its Pacific Northwest presence.”

Mercer has been on an acquisition tear lately, with Duckworth Wealth Advisors in Newport Beach, Calif., Novos Planning Associates in New York, and Wealth Design Services in Rochester, N.Y., among its recent buys.

David Barton

Mercer is in a phalanx of operating RIAs grabbing up smaller wealth firms in a bid for revenue growth, operating scale and geographic diversification. Other names in this bracket include Carson Group, Aspiriant, CapTrust, Beacon Point, Wealth Enhancement Group, Edelman Financial Services, and Mariner Wealth Advisors.

Almost half of Mercer’s nearly $11 million under management comes to it through acquisition rather than purely organic growth.

Mercer’s board vice chairman David Barton, who leads the company’s M&A efforts, says the firm targets fee-only practices that find themselves hobbled by “non-core yet essential elements of the business” such as running systems and technology while seeing to investments, compliance and reporting.

“These back-office tasks create distractions that often prevent planners from doing what they do best – growing their client base and providing valuable advice to existing clients,” Barton says in the press release.