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Helping Foundations and Endowments Achieve Their Mission

Philanthropy-Centered Fiduciary Support

The work your organization does is vital, and it demands a singular focus on achieving long-term, sustainable results. Our seasoned investment team is made up of investment advisors who have spent decades partnering with foundations and endowments and serving on the nonprofit boards in their own communities.

In our roles as nonprofit board leaders and directors, we’ve had to make many of the same decisions you do. As a result, when you partner with us you can expect more – beyond investment management and asset allocation, investment policy statements, and spending policy analysis:

  • Philanthropic guidance to donors on how to include your organization in their legacy giving through charitable remainder or lead trusts, donor advised funds, and other estate planning strategies.
  • Fundraising strategies to help your organization build its foundation/endowment capacity by introducing new opportunities for giving that your donors may not have previously embraced, such as donating appreciated stock or alternative assets, in addition to helping advise you on targeting new donors, such as millennials.
  • Ongoing Board education and guidance on best practices in governance to prepare members to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities in compliance with state and uniform code regulatory requirements.
  • Knowledgeable fiduciary support, including long-term financial planning strategies that encompass your organization’s cash flow and grant-making cycle, along with comprehensive reporting to your Board and finance committee.

Investment Strategies with Purpose

The purpose of foundation investing is to achieve the organization’s ultimate mission and goals. Donors give money to a non-profit because of its mission, and because they trust their funds will be invested in alignment with the causes and communities your organization serves.

We work with our clients to focus on how the organization’s purpose is furthered by the investment and stewardship of its endowment, which means:

Investing for the long term

Foundations and endowments have investing timelines that extend decades, even centuries. Philanthropy isn’t only about the here and now, it’s about building strong foundations for future generations to thrive. Our investing strategies and comprehensive advice are constructed to help secure the future of your organization and the communities you serve.

Investing to maximize cost efficiencies

Our firm’s size, and nimble investment approach, provides us pricing leverage relative to many industry peers. Mercer Advisors’ model portfolios generally have low internal expense ratios with a median ratio of 13bps versus 50bps for industry peers. *

Investing to minimize impacts from market volatility

Our portfolio structure is designed to minimize risk, endure market ups and downs, and help your organization continue its commitment to the community. We help you to prepare for those times when the market is volatile and contributions decline while need increases, by building portfolios aligned with your long-term goals, not just your immediate needs. And by building a portfolio that harmonizes with your organization’s mission.

Meet Members of our Investment Team

Bill Berg

Bill Berg, CFA, CFP®

Sr. Wealth Advisor
As a Senior Wealth Advisor, Bill manages client portfolios and assists clients in meeting their wealth management objectives. Prior to joining Mercer Advisors, Bill directed research for a venture capital investment banking firm. He started his career as a corporate and securities attorney with Stoel Rives LLP. He went on to found Sigma Investment Management Company in Portland, Oregon in 1992. Bill received undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Stanford University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and a CFA®. Bill sits on the board, executive committee, and investment committee of each of the Oregon Community Foundation and the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation, as well as on the investment committee of The Ford Family Foundation.

Mark Eshman

Mark Eshman

Director of Foundations and Endowments Group, Senior Wealth Advisor
Prior to joining Mercer Advisors, Mark was Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Investment Officer of ClearRock Capital. He began his career in 1982 at Drexel, Burnham, Lambert in Beverly Hills. Mark is passionate about his clients’ financial well-being, working with families and non-profit organizations to ensure their peace of mind. Mark cares deeply about his community and currently serves on the Executive Committees of both HomeRise in San Francisco and The Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum, Idaho. He earned an A.B. from Duke University.

Drew Harper

Drew Harper, CFA®, CFP®

Wealth Advisor
Drew began his wealth management career in 2006 with Foos Financial Group, a small investment and financial planning firm. He joined M.J. Smith and Associates in December 2009 and worked with the firm for over ten years, prior to joining Mercer Advisors. His areas of expertise include high-net-worth financial planning, investment management, estate planning, and insurance strategies. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Drew is a CFA® charterholder and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional.

Harmon Laurin

Harmon Laurin

Sr. Wealth Advisor, Director
Prior to joining Mercer Advisors, Harmon was the President of Sigma Investment Management Company. He also was a senior vice president for Columbia Management Company (now Columbia Threadneedle), establishing and managing its Private Wealth Services division in Portland, Oregon. Previously he helped create a private asset management program for Fidelity Investments and managed its 13 western states. Harmon is passionate about working with his clients to give them peace of mind in all things financial, many times working with several generations within a family. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University. He also cares a great deal about his community and has worked with many organizations over the years. He currently sits on the boards of Ethos and the Terwilliger Plaza Foundation as well as the advisory board of the MIKE Program.

Emily Messegee joined Mercer Advisors via the acquisition of Summit Wealth Advisors, Inc.

Emily Messegee, CFP®, MBA

Wealth Advisor, Director
Emily began working in banking and finance while completing her undergraduate degree at California State University, Long Beach. Emily moved to Colorado in 2005 and shortly after started working at Summit Wealth Advisors, a boutique investment management and financial planning firm. After a two- year hiatus serving in Morocco for the U.S. Peace Corps, Emily returned to the mountains of Colorado and continued to develop her career with Summit Wealth by obtaining her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Her areas of expertise include strategic financial planning, with an emphasis in education planning, philanthropic giving and estate planning, in addition to portfolio management. In an effort to provide additional services to clients, Summit Wealth was acquired by Mercer Advisors in 2020, creating even greater capacity to service clients. Emily obtained her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Colorado, Denver and served as a student advisor on the Rutt Bridges Venture Capital Fund. She is an active leader of the Junior League of Denver and serves on the Board of the Summit County Rotary. Emily is an avid outdoor enthusiast and was the 10th female finisher of the Leadville 100 Trail Run in 2019.

Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland

Sr. Wealth Advisor, Director
Tim began his wealth management career in 1987 as founder and Chairman at Rowland Carmichael Advisors, Inc., an Arizona based investment and financial planning firm. His areas of expertise include business owners, their key employees, and high-net-worth families. Tim graduated from the University of Nevada with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and has an MBA in Finance from the Thunderbird School of International Management. He also is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner, (CFP®). Tim and his wife live in Phoenix, and they have three grown sons, two daughters-in-law and three grandchildren.

Paul Seidman

Paul Seidman, CFP®, CRPC®

Senior Vice President, Institutional Sales
Paul began his career in the financial services industry in 2003. Prior to joining Mercer Advisors, he was president at Empowerment Financial Group and a senior vice president at Alpha Cubed Investments. He was a high school football coach for 19 seasons and his foundation is built on teamwork and working together to achieve our client’s goals. Paul graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Finance major with an emphasis on portfolio management.

* Please Note: Limitations. Expense ratio data based upon recognized industry sources. Mercer Advisors and peer firm investment portfolio fees refer to the median operating expense ratios. Mercer Advisors’ investment portfolio fee applies only to the firm’s standard model portfolio. Fees discussed do not account for investment advisory fees or transaction charges that a client may typically incur in the management of their investment portfolio. Actual client fees will vary. No portion of the above should be construed as any guarantee that an investor will experience a certain level of results or satisfaction if Mercer Advisors is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services. Lower expense ratios are also no assurance of a satisfactory advisory experience or positive investment performance results. Please Also Note: Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended and/or undertaken by Mercer Advisors) or any planning or consulting services, will be profitable, equal any historical performance level(s), or prove successful. A copy of our current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees continues to remain available upon request or at merceradvisors.com.

 

 

 

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