Mallard Advisors acquired by a large investment company

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HOCKESSIN- Mallard Advisorsan investment advisory firm with clients nationwide, has been acquired by a large Denver-based national firm.

Founded in 2002 by financial advisor William “Bill” Starnes, Mallard today employs four other professionals and serves 109 clients with assets under management of approximately $165 million. The company, located next to Lancaster Pike, was founded as one of the few in the state to provide fee-based financial planning, retirement planning and investment management to residents of Newark, Wilmington and Hockessin.

They will now join Mercer Global Advisorsone of the nation’s largest registered investment advisors and financial planning firms.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed in Tuesday’s announcement.

A 37-year-old total wealth management firm backed by private equity firms, Mercer Advisors has more than 760 employees in more than 60 offices nationwide, including one in the Wilmington suburb off Silverside Road. It manages over $37 billion in client assets. Like Mallard, Mercer Advisors is also a fee-based investment manager, but also provides a range of other services such as estate and tax planning, insurance solutions, and trustee and trust administration services.

The deal was preceded by a relationship Starnes brokered with Mercer a few years ago. He partnered with the larger company as part of its mutual assistance pact program, in which they would take care of Mallard customers and staff if anything unforeseen were to happen to him.

Reassessing his transition plans and being the sole owner of the business, Starnes recently reached out to Mercer Advisors Vice President David Barton about how they could prepare the business for the future.

“Together we have worked and completed my succession plan and I am thrilled to join a company like Mercer Advisors alongside my fantastic team,” Starnes said in a statement announcing the deal. “At Mallard, my team and I are committed to serving our customers with excellence and consider our customers like extended family. In addition, I am committed to the success and development of my staff.

Barton praised Starnes’ work to date and said he’s aligned Mallard well to fit Mercer’s culture.

“Bill is a superior financial planner, a salt of the earth, and is committed to his clients and his team. These are all traits I look for when determining whether or not there is cultural compatibility between our businesses. At Mallard, we have found a perfect fit and couldn’t be more excited to partner with Bill and his team to expand our presence in Delaware,” he said in a statement.

Mercer Advisors has now added 64 companies through acquisitions, including 12 this year, following majority investments by private equity firms Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital.

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