Private Advisor Group Selects Merchant as Strategic Partner

Merchant embraces commitment to enhancing the financial advice profession. This strategic partnership provides access to additional capital to fund long-term growth solutions for financial advisors, RIA leaders and investors nationwide.

NEW YORK & MORRISTOWN, NJ, December 17, 2021 Private Advisor Group, one of the leading Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) in the U.S. has entered into an agreement which includes a non-controlling, minority investment from Merchant.

Private Advisor Group serves over 700 financial advisors nationwide and has been ranked by Barron’s as a top 10 RIA firm since 2019. Managing over $30 billion in assets under management, the investment from Merchant provides access to additional capital alongside experienced professionals with extensive tenure and a shared commitment to enhancing the financial advice profession. The firms are mutually aligned in efforts to deliver growth solutions to financial advisors enabling the expansion of financial guidance to more investors while creating ease of use, efficiencies, and enhancing legacy and succession solutions for financial practice leaders.

RJ Moore, Chief Executive Officer of Private Advisor Group, shared, “We have long admired Merchant’s commitment to their business owners, independent operating model and the financial profession. We are mutually aligned in our focus to enhance long-term value creation and succession solutions for advisors while accelerating our collective growth.” He continued, “With so much untapped potential in the wealth management space, Private Advisor Group looks forward to continuing to enhance and introduce leading options for the financial advice profession now and for generations to come.”

Private Advisor Group is leveraging the growth capital to help small independent wealth management firms get access to scale, continue to attract more like-minded independent advisors, bring solutions to market quicker, help advisors with continuity and succession, and enhance its suite of services for financial practice leaders and their staff.

Tim Bello, Managing Partner at Merchant said, “Private Advisor Group embodies everything Merchant was built for – exceptional people, entrepreneurial roots with institutional capabilities, near term conviction with long term vision, and an overall firm size that creates true local touch along with national reach.” He continued, “the Merchant family is very selective and looks carefully to find firms who put advisors first and also present an opportunity set that brings us to

Merchant sees the Private Advisor Group complex through a unique lens, one filled with past success that only time can create, present state durability, and future opportunity that has no end in sight for both the advisors and clients of the Firm.

Marc Spilker, Executive Chairman of Merchant went on to state, “Having spent over 35 years in the investment management and wealth management space, I’ve found that firms like Private Advisor Group are extremely rare.” Spilker added, “It’s an organization focused on the fundamentals while continually evolving to stay ahead of trends and best practices to fuel success. All of us at Merchant are ready to roll up our sleeves and begin working on the strategic initiatives we’ve already identified.”

The firms will operate independently while leveraging the leadership, tenure and experience of one another to focus on bettering the financial profession and creating opportunities for advisors. Exact terms will not be disclosed. The agreement was signed December 17, 2021 and became effective immediately. This is an additive investment in terms of growth capital, no other staffing or ownership changes are anticipated.

Ardea Partners LP served as exclusive financial advisor to Private Advisor Group.

About Private Advisor Group
Founded in 1997 in Morristown, NJ, Private Advisor Group is one of the nation’s leading financial services firms. Managing over $30 billion in assets under management, the firm leverages its depth of knowledge to deliver solutions that strive to improve financial outcomes for individual investors and inspire growth, fiduciary adherence, legacy solutions and a client-centric approach for independent financial advisors’ practices. Barron’s has recognized Private Advisor Group as a top ten registered investment advisory firm since 2019.

Barron’s “Top 100 RIA Firms” ranking is based upon quantitative and qualitative criteria including: regulatory records, client retention reports, assets managed, revenue generated, technology spending, number of clients, size and diversity of staff, placement of a succession plan, and more. Investor experience and returns are not considered. Neither Private Advisor Group nor its financial advisors pay a fee to Barron’s in exchange for the ranking.

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About Merchant Investment Management, LLC
Merchant is a private partnership providing growth capital, management resources, strategic opportunities and direction to independent financial services companies, particularly those focused on wealth and asset management. For additional information, please visit

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