Mercer Advisors, the second-most prolific acquirer of registered investment advisors in 2023, has hired five industry veterans who more than double the size of the firm’s partner development team and are expected to take its inorganic growth strategies to new highs.

The Denver firm with $56 billion in client assets under management added Andy Burgess, Greg Mayes and Jay Robinson to its M&A partner development team, the firm announced this week. Burgess joined most recently from NewEdge Advisors, Mayes from LPL Financial and Robinson from Schwab Advisor Services.

In addition, Stacy Orff, formerly head of marketing at DeVoe & Co., was added as Mercer’s vice president of platform marketing, and Jeff Dadamo, who joined from Dimensional Fund Advisors, was added as senior director, M&A investment integration.

The expansion of executives working on attracting and integrating more advisors to the Mercer web is a direct response to the opportunities the firm sees, Orff said.

Many of the thousands of small-to-mid-size RIAs in the U.S. reach a tipping point where the growth challenges of needing more capabilities and being burdened by the back-office force “the classic build or join decision.”

“Having more feet on the street through these new hires allows Mercer Advisors to be in front of more people,” she said. “The demographics of advisors and the challenges these firms face all lead to increasing deal volume this year and in years to come.”

The hiring of Burgess, Mayes and Robinson more than doubled the partner development team, which is a critical thought partner for advisors considering a relationship with Mercer, Mayes said.

“We speak with advisors who realize they’re not growing and want to give their clients something more, more services, more capabilities, and so we help them understand how Mercer is set up and what our firm could offer if they had an interest in considering us,” he said. “And then in succession planning, if someone is thinking about exiting the business at some point, we help them understand what that would look like if they were interested in becoming part of Mercer.”

The biggest concerns firms have when making these choices are the satisfaction of their clients, the experience of their employees and, of course, their own outcome, Robinson added.

Mercer’s big-firm capabilities can greatly elevate the experience of clients used to a smaller firm, he continued, but one area where he thought Mercer really shines is in its talent mapping and career development that offers an advisory’s employees a future of their own.

“They have 1,000 people in this firm, and they have formal career pathing. Most advisors have six to seven employees, and they’re all G2 people who are super-capable,” he said. “Career pathing is just as valuable as compensation.”

Orff said her position is new to Mercer, and she will focus on marketing the firm in such a way as to reach more potential advisor partners. Those efforts will include more speaking engagements, presence at industry events, developing communication tools and supporting the partner development team.

Dave Welling, CEO of Mercer Advisors, said in the firm’s announcement of the hires that they already have had success helping RIAs make decisions about the direction of their firms.

“They are passionate about advisor success and understand the highly nuanced RIA space,” he said. “Firms joining us are making significant decisions that will impact not only themselves but also their team, and, most importantly, their clients.”

Mercer’s investment in the partner development and integration teams will enable those advisors to realize their long-term career aspirations, he said.