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January 29, 2020

Mercer Advisors swoops on First Ohio Planning

Colorado-based RIA Mercer Global Advisors has snapped up First Ohio Planning, an Ohio-based peer with around $350m in assets.

Financial terms of the deal were not divulged.

The operations of First Ohio will now be combined with the Columbus office of Mercer Advisors.

As part of the deal, the acquired entity’s owner James Ryan, as well as five of its wealth management staff, will move to Mercer Advisors.

Mercer vice chairman Dave Barton welcomed the transaction, calling it a “great partnership for both parties”.

“Jim had a number of suitors interested in his business, as he should have. He built a first-class business and I admired the expertise in the ERISA space which complemented our own.

“We manage over $1 billion in ERISA plan assets and Jim and his team bring concentrated sophistication in a complex area building out for us an all-star ERISA team.”

Ryan calls Mercer Advisors “a great fit” for clients and employees.

Commenting on the deal, Ryan said: “I met with Dave Barton, Mercer Vice Chairman who leads Mercer Advisors’ M&A activity, on many occasions. We “hit-it-off” and, as a past CEO of Mercer Advisors, he understood the business in detail and also knew first-hand the challenges I was facing as a business owner.”

Set up in 1979, First Ohio caters to nearly 280 households.

Comparatively, Mercer Advisors is a newer firm founded in 1985 and has around 50 offices. The $18.7bn business offers family office, investment management, estate and tax planning, asset protection, corporate trustee and trust administration services, among others.

Earlier this month, the firm acquired Illinois-based wealth manager CCP.

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