PE-backed Mercer Advisors acquires Sanford Advisory Services

Mercer Global Advisors Inc, which is backed by Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital, has acquired Portage, Michigan-based Sanford Advisory Services, a wealth management firm.

Mercer Global Advisors Inc, which is backed by Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital, has acquired Portage, Michigan-based Sanford Advisory Services, a wealth management firm. No financial terms were disclosed.


DENVER, May 4, 2022 – Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. (“Mercer Advisors”), a national Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), today announced the acquisition of Sanford Advisory Services, LLC (“Sanford”), a respected wealth management firm headquartered in Portage, Michigan. Sanford serves approximately 1,100 clients with assets under management and advisement (AUM/A) of approximately $1.1 billion. Sanford was founded by Todd Sanford, CFP®, Partner in 2000 who, with 4 decades of industry experience, was responsible for stewarding Sanford’s growth. Scott Williams, CFP®, has been with Sanford since its inception in 2000, and became a partner of the firm in 2006. Brent Kerstetter, CFP®, MBA, Partner, joined Sanford in 2004, becoming its third partner. Sanford’s talented team of ten professionals will also be joining Mercer Advisors.

Sanford approaches financial management by developing a personalized comprehensive financial plan for its clientele with an understanding that each client’s financial situation is unique. Sanford partners with clients as a professional advisor and advocate to allow their plan to be maintained through the inevitable bumps that life brings.

Commenting on the transaction, Founder Todd Sanford (“Todd”) stated: “The core values of this organization lie in being honest, having integrity, and putting clients first. Everybody that walks in the door is an extended member of the family. Speaking for myself, Scott, and Brent, we knew we were at an inflection point in our business and needed to build the scale to support our significant growth or join a firm that already had it. In talking with David Barton, Vice Chairman and Head of Mergers & Acquisitions at Mercer Advisors, we knew we had found the right partner that shared our core values and as he put it, ‘the only interests to consider are the best interests of our clients.’ It was clear we shared the same mission, vision, and values and that was the most important thing to us along with providing career development opportunity to our fantastic staff.” Scott Williams (“Scott”) added: “I loved that we could offload back-office activities to Mercer Advisors, creating excess capacity for us to do what we do best, service existing clients and win new ones.”

Brent Kerstetter stated: “We go deep with our clients and lead with financial planning. The fact that Mercer Advisors has in-house estate planning services and a full legal team, as well as providing in-house tax return preparation services along with highly desirable corporate trustee capabilities will allow us to bring enhanced offerings to our valued clientele. Everyone wins.”

David Barton, Vice Chairman, who led this transaction on behalf of Mercer Advisors added: “Todd, Scott and Brent are not only exceptional leaders and entrepreneurs, but they are also salt of the earth people dedicated to the success of their staff and clients. For them, every decision is client centric. They walk their talk. This is precisely why they are one of the fastest growing firms in Michigan and a perfect fit for Mercer Advisors. Our two firms’ collective commitment to our staff and clients is ever present. Do right by them and good things typically happen. We believe that together we represent a formidable juggernaut and look forward to a bright future together.”

Dave Welling, Chief Executive Officer of Mercer Advisors, said, “Todd, Scott and Brent have built a great business with a strong team, and they are highly respected wealth management professionals that give back to their community. We are thrilled to be expanding our presence in Michigan and look forward to working together to deliver meaningful results for our shared clients.”

About Mercer Advisors
Established in 1985, Mercer Global Advisors Inc. (“Mercer Advisors”) is a total wealth management firm that provides comprehensive, fee-based investment management, financial planning, family office services, retirement benefits and distribution planning, estate and tax planning, insurance solutions, and corporate trustee and trust administration services. Mercer Advisors Inc. is a parent company of Mercer Global Advisors Inc. (RIA), majority owned by both Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital, one of the largest Registered Investment Advisors and financial planning firms in the U.S. with over $38 billion in client assets. Headquartered in Denver, Mercer Advisors is privately held, has over 670 employees, and operates nationally through 60+ offices across the country. For more information, visit