Mercer Global Advisors is a national investment advisory firm, with offices located across the U.S., including its Denver headquarters. Mercer Global Advisors primarily serves individual investors (including high net worth individuals), providing a suite of wealth management and financial planning services.
The bottom line: Mercer Global Advisors is a wealth management and financial planning firm open to investors who typically have at least $500,000 to invest.
|Assets under management: $19,869,910,368|
|Minimum investment: Typically $500,000|
|Individual investor to advisor ratio: 44:1|
|Fee structure: A percentage of AUM, fixed fees|
|Headquarters: 1200 17th Street, Suite 500
Denver, Colorado 80202
All information included in this profile is accurate as of August 13, 2021. For more information, please consult Mercer Global Advisors’ website.
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Mercer Global Advisors was founded in 1985 by Kendrick Mercer, a lawyer whose practice focused on estate planning for professionals and families. When his clients needed more services than the drafting of wills, trusts and estate plans, he opened the doors to Mercer Global Advisors, a planning-focused, independent registered investment advisory firm.
Mercer Global Advisors, headquartered in Denver with offices found nationwide, is now a corporation that manages almost $20 billion in assets. Since its founding, the firm has made over 45 acquisitions of other registered investment advisory firms.
Mercer Global Advisors has over 450 employees in total, with approximately 250 who perform investment advisory functions. Employees at the firm hold certifications including the certified financial planner (CFP), certified financial analyst (CFA) and certified public accountant (CPA) designations.
Founder Kendrick Mercer’s story is the classic rags to riches tale. He was abandoned by his parents as a child and brought up in bleak conditions, but he overcame early adversity to graduate from college, then law school and then become a partner at a law firm. But that wasn’t enough for him. First he opened his own law firm, and then he transitioned the firm into the advisory company that still exists today. Mercer also founded a personal growth company called the Garden Company, located in Sandpoint, Idaho.
For the most part, Mercer Global Advisors caters to individuals and high net worth individuals, defined by the SEC as someone with at least $750,000 under management or net worth of at least $1.5 million. The firm’s minimum account size — $500,000 — is below the official definition of high net worth, and is also subject to negotiation. This is likely why the firm’s client base currently contains slightly more individuals without a high net worth, as compared to high net worth individuals
Clients who wish to use alternative investment strategies (read: private funds) offered by Mercer Global Advisors must meet minimum investment requirements determined by the SEC. With private fund investing, the SEC defines three common types of investors: qualified purchasers, qualified clients and accredited investors, with the differences between the three generally relating to the investor’s net worth or how much money they have under management. The type of fund structure will determine the types of investors allowed.
Mercer Global Advisors offers a wide range of services and markets itself as a multidisciplinary registered investment advisor and total wealth management firm. With its roster of CFPs, CPAs, CFAs and attorneys, the company is able to offer portfolio management, financial planning, retirement planning and family office services, such as in-house estate planning and tax planning and preparation.
In addition to investment advisory services and financial planning services, the firm hosts a podcast called The Science of Economic Freedom, which aims to help people become “better stewards of their money with the [firm’s] science-based, technical expertise.” Mercer Global Advisors also provides financial education resources geared toward women, as well as the option for potential female clients to speak with a female advisor.
Below is the full suite of Mercer Global Advisors services:
When constructing a portfolio for a client, Mercer Global Advisors will first establish client investment objectives, risk tolerance, financial goals and other relevant information in order to inform the selection of strategies to use, then customizes an investment portfolio specific to each client.
In general, Mercer Global Advisors uses broad asset class and multi-factor diversification as protection against concentrated risk, along with systematic rebalancing, tax and distribution management and an emphasis on low expense ratios.
The firm has a 16-member investment strategy team that oversees all investment research, policies, portfolios and managers. The following is a list of different investing strategies Mercer Global Advisors may employ to meet client goals:
|Mercer Global Advisors Investment Strategies|
|Total Return, Socially Responsible, & Income Strategies|
|Market Series Program||Focused on low-cost, global diversification; uses any combination of mutual funds, ETFs or separate accounts|
|Multifactor Series Program||Uses academic research to build portfolios that combine low-cost, global asset class diversification and diversification within targeted asset classes|
|SRI Impact Series Program||Invests in line with clients’ values, offering diversification through low‐cost environmental, social, and governance (ESG) funds, ETFs, and separate accounts|
|Income Series Program||Aims to maximize income while maintaining potential for capital growth; emphasizes high-dividend-paying stocks and high-yield bonds|
|SMA Program & Custom UMA Program|
|Separately Managed Accounts (SMA) Program||Allows clients to invest in any number of approved separate account solutions, including for equities, fixed income, real estate, MLPs, preferred stocks and covered call writing|
|Custom Unified Managed Account (UMA) Program||Allows clients to build customized portfolios using any combination of approved separate account solutions, mutual funds and/or ETFs|
In addition to the above programs, Mercer Global Advisors also offers no-load annuity models.
Mercer Global Advisors’ fees for its investment management services are based on a percentage of assets under management. While there is a published fee schedule (see below) that outlines the rate that clients are charged based on their account size, the firm reserves the right to negotiate the investment management fee and may make exceptions to its fee schedule on a case-by-case basis.
|Mercer Global Advisors Pricing Structure|
|Assets under management||Fee|
|$10,000,001 and up||0.50%|
|Mercer Global Advisors Pricing Structure|
|Level of Service||Minimum Fee|
|Investment management only||$2,400, or 2% of AUM|
|Family office services||$6,000|
Clients should expect separate and additional fees for third-party sub-advisors to provide investment advisory services, as well as fees for institutional mutual funds, accumulation units, unified managed accounts and separate accounts, among other fees.
While Mercer Global Advisors states that family office services carry a minimum fee of $6,000, in general, all financial planning, family wealth services, tax planning and tax return preparation services provided by the firm are quoted on an individual basis and costs can vary.
Mercer Global Advisors does not have any disciplinary events to disclose on its Form ADV, a document that registered investment firms are required to file with the SEC. When a registered investment firm or its employees or affiliates face any civil, criminal or regulatory actions, the SEC requires the firm to disclose that information for potential clients to evaluate.
For more information on Mercer Global Advisors, visit its IAPD page.
Mercer Global Advisors has offices in the following states:
Mercer Global Advisors positions itself as a comprehensive wealth management and financial planning firm for those with at least $500,000 to invest. For clients who meet the minimum investment criteria and wish to work with a firm with a nationwide presence that offers many more services than portfolio management, Mercer Global Advisors may be a solid choice.
With the firm’s roster of CPAs and other professionals, clients have the option to use in-house tax preparation and planning services, along with financial planning and investment management offerings. There’s also a focus on women clients and their specific needs. Additionally, for clients who enjoy financial education, Mercer Global Advisors offers several options, including its podcast and blog. Before you make your decision, be sure to research multiple firms to ensure you find the right advisor for you.
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