Denver-based Mercer Advisors is scaling up its tax division with the addition of wealth management firm and tax preparer AL Hewitt Inc., according to a news release.

The Camarillo, Calif.-based Hewitt serves approximately 120 clients with $100 million in AUM. The firm also operates a business preparing more than 4,000 tax returns annually, with all financial advisory clients receiving tax advice along with return preparation, the release said. 

The addition of Hewitt’s 10 staff members will augment Mercer’s already strong presence in California, bringing the number of offices to nine, serving approximately 3,200 clients with nearly $5 billion in AUM. The acquisition brings Mercer’s total number of offices to 45 and increases the firm’s total AUM to approximately $17 billion, the release noted. 

Dave Welling, CEO of Mercer Advisors, said in a statement that the Hewitt team is a great fit for Mercer on multiple levels. “They share our conviction in delivering a truly comprehensive solution to our clients, including financial planning, investments, tax and estate planning.

“The Hewitt team deepens our significant presence in California as well as our tax expertise.”

Alan and Josette Hewitt said there were other potential buyers for their firm, but they were persuaded to go with Mercer Advisors after meeting with Dave Barton, Mercer’s vice chairman, who’s in charge of M&A.

Both Hewitts are certified financial planners and enrolled agents. They founded A.V. Tax and Business Services Inc. in 1990. Alan Hewitt founded AL Hewitt in 2006—a fee-only RIA focusing on comprehensive financial planning and integrated tax advice for high-net-worth clients.

Barton noted that the success of Mercer Advisors’ family office business model, launched in 2013, has allowed the firm to stand out in a crowded RIA market, and that set it apart from other buyers and made Mercer Advisors the right fit for Hewitt.

“The highly efficient work flows with supportive systems and processes that allow Hewitt to process over 4,000 tax returns annually and that turnkey process will create even greater scale and further leverage our already ample tax consultancy and tax return preparation business,” he said.

The combination brings together in-house estate planning, tax return preparation and corporate trustee advisory services that Barton says “will allow our clients to receive fully integrated financial care with different subject matter experts working together side by side to provide best-in-industry advice and results for our approximately 12,000 clients nationwide.”

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