A Columbus, Ohio, wealth manager with $350 million in assets under management is the latest to be added to Mercer Advisors’ roster, according to a company release.

First Ohio Planning, which is owned by James S. Ryan and serves approximately 280 households, was founded in 1979. Ryan and his staff of five wealth management professionals will join Mercer’s existing office in Columbus, where Mercer has had a presence for over 20 years, the release said.

Ryan said he and his team were looking for a partner that would allow the firm to continue to flourish, as well as to provide growth opportunities for the firm and staff. After meeting with Dave Barton, the Mercer vice chairman who leads Mercer Advisors’ M&A activity, on many occasions, “We hit it off,” Ryan said in a statement.

“As a past CEO of Mercer Advisors, he understood the business in detail and also knew firsthand the challenges I was facing as a business owner,” Ryan said. “Together we walked through the pros and cons of a business combination, and my conclusion was Mercer Advisors was a great fit for me, my staff and, most important, for our clients.”

Barton said in his statement that Ryan had “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.”

With the acquisition of First Ohio, Mercer Advisors’ total AUM will be more than $18.7 billion. Headquartered in Denver, Mercer Advisors is a parent company of Mercer Global Advisors Inc., an RIA majority owned by Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital. It has more than 400 employees, and operates nationally with nearly 50 offices across the country.

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