«March 1, 2016 Item 1 – Form ADV Part 2 A / Disclosure Brochure This brochure provides information about the qualifications and business practices ...»
MERCER GLOBAL ADVISORS INC.
1801 East Cabrillo Boulevard
Santa Barbara, California 93108
Main: (800) 898 - 4642
Compliance Department: (800) 258-1559
March 1, 2016
Item 1 – Form ADV Part 2 A / Disclosure Brochure
This brochure provides information about the qualifications and business practices of Mercer Global Advisors Inc. If you
have any questions about the content of this brochure, please contact your Wealth Management Team or the Compl iance Department at (800) 258-1559. The information in this brochure has not been approved or verified by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or by any state securities authority.
Additional information about Mercer Advisors Inc. and Mercer Global Advisors Inc. is also available on the SEC‘s website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.
Mercer Global Advisors Inc. is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and delivers all investment - related services. Mercer Advisors Inc. is the parent company of Mercer Global Advisors Inc. and is not involved with investment services.
Mercer Global Advisors Inc. – ADV, Part 2 A 1 Item 2 – Material Changes The United States Securities and Exchange Commission published the Amendments to Form ADV that amends the disclosure document that Mercer Global Advisors provides to clients as required by SEC Rules. This Brochure dated March 1, 2016 is the document prepared in accordance with the SEC‘s requirements and rules.
This section of the Brochure will address only “material changes” that have been incorporated since the last delivery or posting of this document on the SEC‘s public disclosure website (IAPD) www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.
Mercer Global Advisors may, at any time, update this Brochure and either send clients a copy or offer to send clients a copy (either by electronic means (email) or in hard copy form).
Clients who would like another copy of this Brochure may download the document from the SEC Website as indicated above or may contact their Wealth Management Team.
Since the last ADV, Part 1 and Part 2 A filing, there have been the following material changes:
J. Douglas Maxwell is the new Chief Financial Officer of Mercer Global Advisors Inc.
Deborah J. Atwater has transitioned from the Chief Financial Officer position to the Chief Accounting Officer of Mercer Global Advisors Inc.
Christopher Weill is no longer the Chief Operations Officer.
Mercer Global Advisors maintains a National presence with branch offices located in 19 major cities.
Mercer Global Adviso
Item 1 – Form ADV Part 2 A / Disclosure Brochure
Item 2 – Material Changes
Item 3 – Table of Contents
Item 4 – Advisory Business
Item 5 – Fees and Compensation
Item 6 – Performance-based Fees and Side-by-Side Management
Item 7 – Types of Clients
Item 8 – Methods of Analysis, Investment Strategies, and Risk of Loss
Item 9 – Disciplinary Information
Item 10 – Other Financial Industry Activities and Affiliations
Item 11 – Code of Ethics and Personal Securities Transactions
Item 12 – Brokerage Practices
Item 13 – Review of Accounts
Item 14 – Client Referrals and Other Compensation
Item 15 – Custody
Item 16 – Investment Discretion
Item 17 – Voting Client Securities
Item 18 – Financial Information
Item 19 – Requirements for State-registered Advisors
Mercer Global Advisors Inc. – ADV, Part 2 A 3 Item 4 – Advisory Business OVERVIEW Mercer Global Advisors is a fee-only, multi-disciplinary independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) that provides comprehensive investment management, financial planning, and family office services, as well as in- depth tax planning, estate planning, and retirement plan design and administration.
Established in 1985, Mercer Global Advisors is a total wealth management firm with a national presence. With offices located in 19 major cities, the firm is dedicated to helping more than 5,200 clients fund their life goals and support their lifestyle throughout retirement.
Mercer Global Advisors provides best-in-class, institutional-grade investment management to the individual investor. The use of a multi-disciplinary team approach provides a collaborative group that addresses client investment and financial planning needs comprehensively. Mercer Global Advisors employs over 86 CFP®s, Chartered Financial Analysts®, CPAs, attorneys, MBAs, retirement plan specialists among other nationally accredited credentials. The extensive diversity of experience and background encompassed by its employees provides cohesive advice across disciplines to support the success and effectiveness of each client‘s individual plan. Mercer Global Advisors’ systematic investment approach combines award-winning and academically validated strategies with sophisticated operational efficiencies to increase return, reduce risk, and manage tax exposure.
The Investment Management program establishes clear goals for the investment of personal and/or retirement plan portfolios. This program provides access to Mercer Global Advisors’ specific investment strategies and services, as well as scale efficiencies and access to institutional funds. It also provides a fundamental context for educated investment decision making and goal setting. Ongoing review of the client‘s investment/retirement goals, quarterly newsletters and quarterly portfolio design reports are provided; adjustments to client accounts are made according to evolving client needs.
Financial Planning services focus on the critical elements of portfolio longevity, including asset protection, cash flow management, and risk mitigation, to help position the client for a comfortable retirement. Mercer Global Advisors emphasizes the importance of client vision, values, and motivation, as each is equally important to the development of a successful life plan.
Family Wealth Office services provide comprehensive solutions to insulate family wealth, while simultaneously reducing taxes, transitioning to the next generation, and preserving control within the core family unit. Mercer Global Advisors utilizes a variety of tax-managed and risk mitigated wealth transfer methodologies to allow for the strategic and purposeful dissemination of family wealth across generations.
Mercer Global Advisors has partnered with Aspire Financial Services, LLC (“Aspire”) and United Retirement Plan Consultants (“URPC”) to provide state-of-the-art plan design, document, and administration services to maximize savings dollars.
Mercer Global Advisors stresses its commitment to long-term financial and investment policies (in written form) in order to safeguard against emotional reactions to short-term market movement. Significant emphasis is placed upon planning and education. A coordinated effort is made to achieve results by developing an integrated game plan which addresses an individual‘s personal and financial needs throughout his/her lifetime. Special emphasis is also placed on distribution planning throughout the individual‘s retirement years.
The following pages outline in further detail the Mercer Global Advisors programs, investment philosophy and strategies, and other important information.
Mercer Global Advisors Inc. – ADV, Part 2 A 4 The following is an overview of the various services provided to Mercer Global Advisors clients. These services may be offered to clients in varying combinations to satisfy their individual financial needs. Program costs vary according to the level of service required. Mercer Global Advisors continually develops new products and services to meet the changing needs of its clients.
PROGRAMS and SERVICES DESCRIPTIONS
Mercer Advisors’ investment strategies incorporate, as appropriate:
Strategically weighted investments designed to systematically isolate, capture, and compound incremental return from academically validated risk premia including value, size, momentum, high profitability, low-beta, and carry factors.
Broad asset class and multi-factor diversification — up to 22 asset classes, 46 countries, and thousands of securities – to protect against any single source of concentrated risk Separate account managers and institutional funds, such as AQR Capital Management, Baird Advisors, Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA), Eaton Vance, Goldman Sachs, Lord Abbett, Morgan Stanley, Nuveen, Oppenheimer, Parametric, PIMCO, Scout Investments, State Street Global Advisors, TIAA-CREF, Scharf Investments, and Vanguard.
Careful attention to cost: Low expense ratios (competitive pricing, lower-cost institutional funds), and no front- or back-end loads Systematic rebalancing to maintain a targeted risk/return profile Sophisticated tax and distribution management
TOTAL RETURN STRATEGIES:
Capital Appreciation Strategy Optimize risk and return Strategic asset allocation approach optimized for maximum risk-adjusted return Sophisticated structure of academically validated strategies – risk premium investing, extensive diversification, and alternative investments Broad range of allocations designed to meet the targeted needs of each individual client Tax-managed Capital Appreciation Strategy Maximize after-tax return Strategic asset allocation approach optimized for maximum risk-adjusted, after-tax return Leverages tax-sensitive institutional funds to implement an academically validated, risk premium investing strategy Tactical tax-loss harvesting and swapping techniques Broad range of allocations designed to meet the targeted needs of each individual client Tax-managed Separate Accounts Maximize tax efficiency Highly customized and extensive portfolio of individual stocks or bonds Aggressive tax-loss harvesting; active tax-managed buys and sells Option for reducing concentrated stock position risk using efficient diversification methodologies Extensive array of unique strategies, including core equity, options, emerging markets, and social or sector restrictions — executed using complex algorithms and sampling
Downside Protection Strategy Minimize impact of downside events Designed to protect against severe market drops and to dampen the effec ts of extreme market volatility Increased use of alternative investments (market neutral, long-short, low beta, managed futures, and master limited partnerships) combined with a disciplined use of traditional multi-factor, asset class diversification Mercer Global Advisors Inc. – ADV, Part 2 A 5 Tax-managed Downside Protection Strategy Minimize after-tax impact of downside events Designed to protect against severe market drops and to dampen the effects of extreme market volatility in taxable accounts Increased use of alternative investments (low beta, managed futures, and master limited partnerships) combined with a disciplined use of traditional asset class diversification and tax - sensitive institutional funds
Global Income Strategy Generate higher levels of income Designed to maximize income while maintaining potential for capital growth, consistent with reasonable risk Invested in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, equity call writing, preferred stocks, senior secured floating-rate loans, and real estate Constructed to generate diversified sources of income including dividends, coupon payments, call writing, and real estate pass-through income Tax-managed Global Income Strategy Generate higher levels of tax-efficient income Designed to maximize income in taxable accounts while maintaining potential for capital growth, consistent with reasonable risk Invested in a diversified portfolio of tax-managed stocks, municipal bonds, equity call writing, preferred stocks, senior secured floating-rate loans, and real estate Constructed to generate diversified sources of tax-efficient income including dividends, coupon payments, call writing, and real estate pass-through income Corporate Bond Strategy Generate income Corporate bonds are used to provide higher after-tax income in tax-advantaged accounts Senior secured floating-rate loans, short-term, medium-term, and high-yield bonds are combined in a ladder design to strategically balance risk and return Use of bond funds provides broad diversification and immediate liquidity Municipal Bond Strategy Generate tax-efficient income Tax-exempt municipal bonds are used to provide higher after-tax income in taxable accounts Short-term, medium-term, long-term, and high-yield bonds are combined in a ladder design to strategically balance risk and return Use of bond funds provides broad diversification and immediate liquidity Fixed Income Separate Accounts Enhance capital preservation Portfolio of individual bonds, customized by credit quality, term, and client preference, structured within a multiyear bond ladder format Conservative income approach favoring the highest quality, short-term bonds, and other instruments designed to protect principal Sub-Advisors and Separate Account Management Mercer Advisors also offers Separate Account Management and may utilize the services of third party sub-advisors to provide investment advisory services. Where the sub-advisor performs management services for a client of the Firm for a fee, a copy of the Sub-Advisor’s ADV 2 A brochure and Sub-Advisor’s fee schedule will be delivered to the client prior to assigning the sub-advisor to manage the client’s account.
Mercer Global Advisors Inc. – ADV, Part 2 A 6OTHER SERVICES