Genstar-backed Mercer Advisors acquires GFS

Santa Barbara, California-based Mercer Advisors, a registered investment adviser, has acquired Clearwater, Florida-based GFS Private Wealth, a provider of wealth management services. No financial terms were disclosed. Mercer is backed by Genstar Capital.


SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Feb. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Mercer Advisors Inc. (“Mercer Advisors”), a national Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm based in Santa Barbara, today announced their largest RIA firm integration. Combining GFS Private Wealth, an independent privately held firm providing an array of wealth management services, increases Mercer’s Assets Under Management (AUM) to over $12 billion.

Founded by Greg Willsey, CFP®, and Sandra Nesbit, CES™, CDFA™, GFS specializes in providing comprehensive investment and life-planning solutions to affluent individuals and their families. They offer guidance on a range of financial issues including investments, retirement, estate planning, charitable giving, and family business issues. Based in Clearwater, Florida GFS manages approximately $364 million. GFS’s founders and team will continue to operate out of their existing Clearwater location. Mercer currently operates an office in nearby Tampa.

“Our new partnership with GFS Private Wealth is another example of our continued focus to grow Mercer with like minded, client-focused advisors,” said Dave Welling Chief Executive Officer of Mercer Advisors. “GFS will bring an expanded footprint for Mercer in the Southeast and add to our talent and expertise. Mercer’s family office services including estate planning, tax and corporate trustee services will expand and deepen services for GFS clients.”

Mr. Willsey said, “The GFS team is excited to partner with a respected firm like Mercer that will allow us to continue our growth and deliver a wider range services, and expertise to current and future clients.” Ms. Nesbit added “Mercer’s expertise, culture and alignment with GFS will help ensure the strength of the legacies’ for our clients. Mercer allows us to accelerate our growth by combing expertise as well as increase our outreach in Florida and the Southeast generally.”

Mercer Vice Chairman David Barton, who leads the company’s M&A activity, said, “GFS’s business model mirrors ours in that they offer Family Office services geared toward high net worth families seeking a one-stop solution to all their financial needs. Further, and from a personnel standpoint, our industry is facing a talent shortage and adding Greg and Sandra’s leadership and financial planning acumen to our organization is extremely valuable. This is true of their entire team which, together with our Tampa office, presents a formidable opportunity we fully intend to grow.”

About Mercer Advisors
Established in 1985, Mercer Advisors Inc. is a total wealth management firm that provides comprehensive, fee-only investment management, financial planning, family office services, retirement benefits and distribution planning, estate and tax planning, asset protection expertise, and corporate trustee and trust administration services. Mercer Advisors is the parent company of Mercer Global Advisors, one of the largest Registered Investment Advisors and financial planning firms in the U.S. with over $12 billion in client assets and approximately 8,000 clients. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, Mercer Advisors is privately held, has over 200 employees, and operates nationally through 26 branch offices across the country. For more information, visit