Mercer Advisors Teams With Opto To Expand Private Markets Offering

Mercer Launches Aspen Partners Platform, Giving Investors New Way To Invest In Private Assets.
Daniel Gourvitch, President, and Donald Calcagni, Chief Investment Officer, Mercer Advisors
Daniel Gourvitch, President, and Donald Calcagni, Chief Investment Officer, Mercer Advisors
Jeff Berman, Contributing Editor & Reporter, Wealth Solutions Report
Jeff Berman, Contributing Editor & Reporter, Wealth Solutions Report

Mercer Advisors partnered with wealthtech firm Opto Investments to expand its private markets offering for clients, Mercer said Monday.

Mercer, a national wealth management and financial planning firm with $60 billion in client assets, announced the launch of the Aspen Partners platform.

The proprietary private markets platform was built by Mercer Advisors in partnership with Opto.

Via the new platform, qualified Mercer Advisors clients will be able to participate in a curated portfolio of private investments with lower portfolio-level costs, low minimums and a significantly “streamlined operational experience,” according to Mercer.

The number of privately held assets is considerably larger than what is available on the public markets, and includes several of the fastest-growing companies globally, large swaths of the credit markets and many other opportunities, Mercer pointed out.

Many investors and RIAs continue to have a hard time when trying to access high-quality private markets opportunities in a scalable, investor-friendly way, according to Mercer.

However, despite its huge size and recent proliferation of private funds, many investors and RIAs continue to have a hard time when trying to access high-quality private markets opportunities in a scalable, investor-friendly way, according to Mercer.

“We are committed to delivering on the promise of a full-fledged family office,” said Daniel Gourvitch, President at Mercer Advisors. “That means working directly with some of the world’s top private equity, venture capital private credit, real estate, and infrastructure managers to build institutional-grade portfolios for our clients – without adding exorbitant fees or expense ratios,” he said.

Of teaming with Opto, Gourvitch said, “We found a true partner who shares our fiduciary-first approach and provides the end-to-end technology and operational platform that enables us to realize this vision at scale.”

Mercer Advisors and Opto Investments are both independently backed by GIC, a global institutional investor.

Investment Access

For many years, leading institutional investors benefited from incorporating well-diversified private investments into their portfolios. But, all too often, individuals offered “unique access” to private investments wound up paying high fees, were only able to invest narrowly, and missed out on “many of the better opportunities in private markets,” Gourvitch said.

“Aspen Partners is built to bring a fiduciary-centered approach to private markets by providing investors access to selectively chosen private managers,” according to Donald Calcagni, Chief Investment Officer at Mercer Advisors.

“Just as we’ve used our institutional buying power in public markets to minimize expense ratios for clients, we’ve now focused our buying power on private markets to make it easier for our qualified clients to invest alongside leading private investors,” Calcagni said.

David Welling, CEO, Mercer Global Advisors
David Welling, CEO, Mercer Global Advisors

Providing access to private markets for qualified individuals at scale has traditionally been hindered by burdensome investment practices and processes, according to Calcagni.

He added: “It’s clear to me that limited access, high fees and investment minimums, opaque reporting, and arduous administration have made private markets investing difficult and unattractive to many high net worth (HNW) investors and the advisory firms who serve them.”

Starting Monday, every qualified client in Mercer’s community was given the opportunity to benefit from his firm’s expertise and experience, according to David Welling, Mercer Advisors CEO.

Mercer Advisors is looking to “launch several private funds to help clients build better, more fully diversified portfolios,” it said.

Team Expansions

The firm also said Monday it expanded its private investment leadership team. Bob Burlinson will take on an expanded role as Senior Director, Private Markets, while Will Rockett has been named Senior Director, Investment Strategy Group.

Rockett’s 25 years of asset management experience includes roles with Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab, Nuveen, US Trust and Barclays Capital, Mercer said.

Burlinson and Rockett join the investment leadership team that is supervised by Calcagni. Chris Casdia also joined the team as Vice President, Private Markets Compliance and Operations.

Denver-based Mercer Advisors has 1,100 employees, and operates nationally through over 70 locations across the U.S., it says.

Jeff Berman, Contributing Editor & Reporter at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at jberman@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

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