Mercer Advisors Makes Institutional-Grade Private Markets Investing Available to Families



DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mercer Advisors, a national wealth management and financial planning business with $60 billion in client assets, today announced the expansion of its private markets offering with the launch of the Aspen Partners platform.

Aspen Partners is a proprietary private markets platform built by Mercer Advisors that represents a compelling shift in how individual investors access and invest in private markets, delivering institutional-grade access on institutional-grade terms. Through Aspen Partners, all qualified Mercer Advisors clients will be able to participate in a curated portfolio of high-quality private investments with lower portfolio-level costs, low minimums, and a substantially streamlined operational experience.

The universe of privately held assets is significantly larger than public markets, and features many of the world’s fastest-growing companies, large swaths of the credit markets, and many other interesting opportunities. Yet, despite its sheer size and the recent proliferation of private funds, many investors and RIAs continue to find it difficult to confidently access high-quality private markets opportunities in a scalable, investor-friendly way.

“We are committed to delivering on the promise of a full-fledged family office. 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,” said Daniel Gourvitch, President at Mercer Advisors. “For years, the world’s leading institutional investors have benefited from incorporating well-diversified private investments into their portfolios. Too often, individuals offered ‘unique access’ to private investments end up paying high fees, invest too narrowly, and miss out on many of the better opportunities in private markets.”

Mercer Advisors designed Aspen Partners with the fiduciary commitment to clients that has been core to the firm’s business and investment philosophy for nearly four decades. Donald Calcagni, Chief Investment Officer at Mercer Advisorsexplained, “Aspen Partners is built to bring a fiduciary-centered approach to private markets by providing investors access to selectively chosen private managers. 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.”

According to Calcagni, delivering access to private markets for qualified individuals at scale has historically been impeded by burdensome investment practices and processes. “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.”

The Aspen Partners platform leverages the substantial buying power of Mercer Advisors and its comprehensive network of private investors to help build better portfolios for clients.

“Mercer Advisors is positioned to create and deliver a fundamentally different private markets investment experience. Beginning today, every qualified client in our community will have the opportunity to benefit from our team’s deep expertise and experience,” said Dave Welling, Chief Executive Officer at Mercer Advisors. “Professionals on our private markets team have over two decades of experience serving as the family office to many top private investors who were seeking to deploy their wealth back into private markets. They have deep experience working with some of the top GPs in private markets.”

Mercer Advisors plans to launch several private funds to help clients build better, more fully diversified portfolios. Aspen Partners funds offers broad diversification across multiple managers and vintages, enabling its advisors to build more appropriately diversified private markets allocations for clients with specific growth or income objectives. Aspen Partners funds are designed to maximize the percentage of fund fees allocated to compensating top-performing managers while minimizing fees paid to intermediaries, such as fund administrators, platform sponsors, funds of funds managers, or placement agents.

“Our differentiated pricing model stands in stark contrast to the industry’s prevailing pricing model, where high fees can significantly erode investor returns. That practice makes no sense and doesn’t serve investors. We’re excited to have created a new paradigm where costs go towards bolstering expected net client returns, yet also decline as a percentage of assets as the platform grows,” said Calcagni.

Mercer Advisors built Aspen Partners in partnership with Opto Investments. “Our core aim in launching Aspen Partners was to unlock the potential of private markets to help boost the performance potential of client portfolios, with structurally lower platform costs, low minimums, and streamlined access,” said Gourvitch. “In Opto Investments, 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. Eric Wilmes, President & Head of Private Equity, Americas at GIC, said, “As one of the world’s largest private markets investors, we recognize how important private assets can be to long-term portfolio outcomes. We are thrilled to partner with Mercer Advisors and Opto Investments to help make institutional-grade private investing available to individual families. GIC has partnered with many top private investors for over 40 years and looks forward to bringing our expertise to bear in support of clients of Mercer Advisors.”

Mercer Advisors has expanded its private investment leadership team. Bob Burlinson will take on an expanded role as Senior Director, Private Markets. Burlinson brings nearly three decades of experience investing in private markets. He leads the private markets team and its manager sourcing, due diligence, and monitoring efforts. Also joining the investment team is Will Rockett, Senior Director, Investment Strategy Group. Rockett, whose 25 years of asset management experience includes roles with Morgan Stanley, Charles Schwab, Nuveen, US Trust, and Barclays Capital, now leads the team of investment strategists tasked with helping advisors build, implement, and monitor private markets allocations for clients. Burlinson and Rockett will join the investment leadership team, under Calcagni. Chris Casdia also joins the team as Vice President, Private Markets Compliance and Operations. He brings 15+ years of financial services experience from Homrich Berg, Gratus Capital, and AXA Equitable.

About Mercer Advisors

Established in 1985, Mercer Advisors is a wealth management and financial planning firm that provides comprehensive, fee-based investment management, financial planning, family office services, retirement benefits and distribution planning, estate and tax planning, insurance solutions, and corporate trustee and trust administration services through various affiliated entities and third parties. Mercer Advisors Inc. is a parent company of Mercer Global Advisors Inc. (RIA), and Regis Acquisitions, Inc. (RIA), all of which operate under the Mercer Advisors brand. Both are owned indirectly by hundreds of employee-owners as well as four long-term capital partners: Oak Hill Capital, Genstar Capital, Altas Partners, and GIC. Mercer Advisors. is headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is privately held, has 1,100 employees, and operates nationally through 70+ locations across the country. Mercer Advisors manages over $60 billion in client assets. For more information, visit



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Edmund Shing, PhD

Global Chief Investment Officer
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Edmund has over 29 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.  He previously held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London from 2015 to 2020, and has been Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management since November 2020.

Edmund is responsible for piloting our investment strategy and will continues to rollout out recommendations and themes with actionable advice that brings our expertise to our clients and support to our client-facing teams.  In this time of change, his expertise in following and anticipating markets is a true value added for both our customers and those at Wealth Management who serve them.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology.  He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst. He has also authored the book “The Idle Investor” published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing 3 simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

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