Mercer buys $740 million Epstein & White

Private equity-backed serial acquirer Mercer Global Advisors has acquired Epstein & White Financial, a San Diego-based advisory firm serving 1,300 clients with approximately $740 million.

Brad White, founder and chief executive of the registered investment adviser, said the sale was driven by the same thing fueling much of the consolidation across the wealth management industry, the need for scale.

“We know how to win new clients, but we also realized that at the pace we are growing we needed to add significant scale and corporate architecture,” he said in a release. “We needed to partner with a fully institutionalized RIA that had built out fully scaled middle and back office functionality that could handle our explosive growth.”

Epstein & White has achieved organic growth averaging approximately 75% per annum since 2015, according to the release.

Epstein & White had “many suitors,” but after talking with “the Daves,” Mercer Chief Executive Dave Welling and its head of M&A, Dave Barton, “I knew we found the right home,” White said.

“Working with the Daves was like working with Batman and Batman, a formidable team to be sure,” he added.

Barton described White as a “creative marketing whiz kid who has built something truly unique.”

“His marketing engine reliably produces new clients in volume through his proven techniques,” Barton said in the release. “We believe we can take what Brad is doing in Southern California and syndicate his programs nationwide adding more firepower to our already significant marketing and sales platform.”

Established in 1985, Mercer is majority-owned by private equity firms Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital. Mercer has 525 employees and more than $28 billion under management.

[More: The RIA roll-up market has seen a decade of explosion]

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