Retirement Industry People Moves

Mercer Advisors acquires Atlanta wealth management firm; Wagner Law Group appoints partner; PCS Retirement acquires ABGRM; and more.

Art by Subin Yang

Mercer Advisors Acquires Atlanta Wealth Management Firm

Mercer Global Advisors Inc., a national registered investment adviser (RIA), has acquired Kays Financial Advisory Corp., a wealth management firm located in Atlanta.

Kays serves approximately 700 clients with more than $800 million of assets under management (AUM). Scott Kays founded Kays Financial Advisory Corp. in 1985, delivering comprehensive wealth management services to its high-net-worth clientele. Kays and his staff of 16, including five co-shareholders, will be joining the Mercer Advisors team. The transaction closed on November 30.

Kays earned his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification in 1986 and his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2008.

David Barton, who led this transaction on behalf of Mercer Advisors, adds, “What struck me about Scott and Kays Financial was the quality of their team. In a team of 17, they have seven CFP professionals, four CFA charterholders, four master’s degrees, two CPAs, and one doctorate. Scott and his superior team pride themselves on delivering expanded services to their clientele and operate as a comprehensive wealth manager. In this regard, they are a perfect fit for Mercer Advisors because we are a family office complete with in-house estate planning attorneys, tax return preparation and corporate trustee services. While COVID and general socioeconomic uncertainty made this deal, or any deal, difficult to complete, Scott and his partners were stand-up through it all, high integrity people and a pleasure to work with.”

Dave Welling, chief executive officer of Mercer Advisors, says, “I am honored and humbled that Scott and his exemplary team selected Mercer Advisors as their partner. We look at this as the formation of a strategic relationship that will enable us to serve clients for years to come. … Scott and his partners have built a fantastic and growing RIA, rare in these times when many RIAs are struggling with organic growth. The combination of our two firms presents a formidable juggernaut in Georgia and the Southeast. We are excited to join forces with the Kays team and look forward to serving their clients with expanded wealth management services for years to come.”

Wagner Law Group Appoints Partner

Kim Shaw Elliott has been appointed to the position of partner for the Wagner Law Group.

Elliot, an ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act] investment lawyer engaged in a multi-disciplinary practice, helps clients navigate the intersection of ERISA, securities law, broker/dealer regulations and tax regulations. She also offers estate planning as an additional resource to financial advisers and their clients.

Having previously served as general counsel, chief compliance officer and in other executive roles for broker/dealers and investment adviser firms, she brings a business-leader perspective to the practice of law. Wagner Law Group says Elliot has navigated extensive claims litigation, multi-state regulatory actions and errors and omissions disputes, and presents actionable plans and guidance for compliant sales, operations, product development and customer service.

Elliot is a member of the Southeastern Women in Financial Services (SWIFS) advisory board, Women in Pensions Network (WiPN) chapter committee and National Association of Pension Advisors (NAPA) and is a frequent speaker on employee benefits and planning-related topics.

PCS Retirement Acquires ABGRM

PCS Retirement LLC has acquired Alliance Benefit Group–Rocky Mountain (ABGRM).

Together with ABGRM, PCS Retirement partners with financial advisers and third-party administrators (TPAs) to provide conflict-free recordkeeping services to more than 19,000 plans with 850,000 eligible participants representing over $26 billion in assets under administration (AUA).

With offices in Salt Lake City and Denver, ABGRM provides a comprehensive, independent and conflict-free retirement plan platform for financial advisers, TPAs, plan sponsors and participants.

“ABGRM and PCS Retirement share a common vision to provide professionals, companies and individuals with an independent and transparent qualified savings platform,” says Chris Mautz, CEO of ABGRM. “We look forward to joining forces and, with access to PCS’ resources, we will continue to provide our financial advisers and plans with industry-leading, full-service recordkeeping solutions.” As part of this transaction, ABGRM management will join the PCS management team.

“ABGRM shares our vision of offering best-in-class retirement plan service and has assembled a very talented team of professionals,” said Mark Klein, CEO of PCS Retirement. “With the addition of ABGRM, we take another step toward our goal to be the go-to firm for advisers who want to offer sophisticated and transparent workplace retirement plans designed to enhance financial security for their clients.”

BNY Mellon Announces New Additions

Neal Chansky has joined BNY Mellon as global head of consultant relations, where he will partner with consultants to develop and implement asset servicing solutions for mutual clients.

Chansky, who will be reporting directly to Christine Gill, head of commercial development for asset servicing at BNY Mellon, has over three decades of industry experience and joins the group from Olmstead Associates, a consulting firm dedicated to helping investment managers plan for, select and implement solutions. Prior to this, Chansky spent over 30 years in multiple roles at State Street, including as relationship executive for many of the firm’s largest and most strategic clients.

Amos Rogers has joined BNY Mellon as director, business development – alternatives. He is responsible for business development initiatives across the real assets industry, a rapidly growing area of strategic focus.

Amos, who will be reporting to Brian McMahon, global head of credit and debt fund services, BNY Mellon, has over 25 years of real estate industry experience and has been a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM), the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Amos joins BNY Mellon from State Street, where he was a managing director responsible for leading business development efforts for the firm’s real assets fund administration and fund services business. Prior to this, Amos served as a principal and portfolio manager at The Tuckerman Group, a real estate fund manager in partnership with State Street Global Advisors where he oversaw a $10 billion portfolio of real estate investment trust (REIT) investment funds.

 “The asset servicing industry is rapidly evolving and clients are looking for ways to win and sustainably grow in this new environment,” Gill says. “Both Neal and Amos bring significant industry experience to the firm, which will prove invaluable to clients as we work with them on optimizing their operating models and focusing on growth, and to our asset servicing business as we continue to drive client-centric and global solutions.”