A Denver wealth management firm announced Wednesday its acquisition of Franklin’s HawsGoodwin Wealth.
Mercer Global Advisors, Inc., in Colorado, is a registered investment advisors and full-service wealth management firm. It cast its net to grab 280 clients and $680 million in assets under management from HawsGoodwin Investment Management, Inc., according to a Wednesday morning release.
This is the latest in a Mercer acquisition spree accounting for about $3.9 billion in AUM since September. Mercer has separately announced today the acquisition of Cordasco Financial Network in Naples, Fla. — another young firm founded in 2011 — to bring in its $510 million in client money.
Last month, Mercer acquired Virginia-based Precipio Wealth, which was founded in 2009, and Rochester-based Mirsky Financial Management Corporation, founded in 1999 — two firms in as many days. The former brought $250 million in AUM and the latter $320 million. In November, Mercer announced its acquisition of 2002 Atlanta firm, ACG Wealth, and its $1.3 billion in client revenue. That followed a late-September buy on Dallas-based Quest Capital Management and its $1.5 billion in AUM.
Mercer’s M&A division sought out the founders of HawsGoodwin, who were reluctant to entertain the notion of selling the company until Mercer executives showed them how they could retain control of the operations in which they take the most pride and offload the rest to Mercer’s people.
The Williamson County firm was founded by CEO Art Haws and President Cam Goodwin in 2008. The company provides comprehensive financial planning and portfolio management to high-net-worth clients — businesses, individuals, families and trusts.
“We were not really looking to sell our company,” Haws said. “Our business is growing fast, we love what we do and plan to continue doing it for a long time and have built a highly capable team that enables us to deliver value-added services to our clients. Notwithstanding that, we were introduced to David Barton, Vice Chairman, who also leads mergers and acquisitions at Mercer Advisors to discuss what our options looked like.”
HawsGoodwin plans to merge the entirety of its team with that of Mercer Advisors. The local firm’s offerings focus on financial planning and investment management services. Their team markets itself as carving out financial freedom for clientele via tax optimization, smart investment decisions and protecting capital.
The transaction came down to optimizing HawsGoodwin’s business model for future scalability and allowing leadership to focus on the aspects that attracted them to the industry in the first place. In part, this included a greater capacity to provide a wider spectrum of offerings to clients, adding estate planning, tax analysis and office services to the gamut. Their staff also gains attractive opportunities for upward mobility through Mercer Global.
“While we were skeptical about meeting with David Barton, we thought, ‘Why not hear him out and see our options?’ We did meet with Dave, and I’m glad we did,” said Goodwin. “Through our meetings we learned we could continue running our office, offload the things we don't like doing like compliance and HR, freeing up more time doing what we do best, which is serving clients and winning new ones.”
Mercer targeted GoodwinHaws for the pace of its growth in wealth management and its rising rank in the competitive RIA marketplace. The compatibility of the two companies’ service offerings was also a significant factor.
“We both believe in advisor alpha, and that shared mindset was the foundation of our philosophical and operational alignment,” said Barton. “We are a hand-in-glove fit, and we are thrilled to be opening a new Mercer Advisors location in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States: Franklin, Tennessee, located near Nashville.”
Mercer Global Advisors was established in 1985 and now concentrates on fee-based investment management, financial planning, family office services, retirement benefits and distribution planning, estate and tax planning, insurance solutions and corporate trustee services. Mercer Advisors is majority owned by Genstar Capital — one of the biggest RIA and financial planning firms in the U.S. with over $37 billion in client assets — and Oak Hill Capital.