PE-backed Mercer Advisors buys First Ohio

Mercer Global Advisors Inc, which is backed by Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital, has acquired Columbus, Ohio-based First Ohio Planning LLC, a wealth management firm.

Mercer Global Advisors Inc, which is backed by Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital, has acquired Columbus, Ohio-based First Ohio Planning LLC, a wealth management firm. No financial terms were disclosed.


DENVER, January 28, 2020 – Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. (“Mercer Advisors”), a national Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), today announced the acquisition of First Ohio Planning, LLC (“First Ohio”), a respected wealth management firm located in Columbus, Ohio. First Ohio serves approximately 280 households with assets under management (AUM) of approximately $350MM. First Ohio is owned by James S. Ryan (Ryan), J.D., CFP®, AIF®. Ryan will be joining Mercer along with his staff of five dedicated wealth management professionals. First Ohio will be merging with Mercer Advisors’ existing office in Columbus where Mercer has had a presence for over 20 years.

First Ohio, founded by Ryan in 1979, recently celebrated its 40th Anniversary. Since that time, he and his team have been comprehensively servicing the wealth management needs of their high net worth clientele. Commenting on the transaction, Ryan stated: “We are a dedicated financial planning firm with extraordinary expertise in ERISA plan vehicles. We were looking for a partner that would allow us to continue to flourish in these areas, as well as to provide growth opportunities for the firm and my staff. I met with Dave Barton, Mercer Vice Chairman who leads Mercer Advisors’ M&A activity, on many occasions. We “hit-it-off” and, as a past CEO of Mercer Advisors, he understood the business in detail and also knew first-hand the challenges I was facing as a business owner. Together we walked through the pros and cons of a business combination and my conclusion was Mercer Advisors was a great fit for me, my staff, and most important for our clients. The transaction was additive for all concerned and we couldn’t be more excited to join the Mercer Advisors team.”

Barton stated: “Jim had a number of suitors interested in his business, as he should have. He built a first-class business and I admired the expertise in the ERISA space which complemented our own. We manage over $1 billion in ERISA plan assets and Jim and his team bring concentrated sophistication in a complex area building out for us an all-star ERISA team. Jim also had a strong team and G2, making this an attractive combination for both parties that unlocks potential with myriad career development opportunities at Mercer Advisors. A great partnership for both parties.”

Dave Welling, Chief Executive Officer of Mercer Advisors said, “Jim’s extensive experience as a business leader, planner, and community influencer are talents we look for. Combining his operation with our Columbus office affirms our dedication to our clients in Ohio and establishes us as one of the leading firms in that area. We are delighted to join forces with the First Ohio team and look forward to serving their clients with expanded wealth management services for years to come.”

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, asset protection expertise, 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 the acquisition of First Ohio, Mercer Advisors’ total AUM will be more than $18.7B. Headquartered in Denver, Mercer Advisors is privately held, has over 400 employees, and operates nationally with nearly 50 offices across the country. For more information, visit

Data as of January 28, 2020. AUM includes affiliates and wholly owned subsidiaries.