The placement agent and advisory firm has opened an office in Florida and plans to launch in four other locations.

Mercury Capital Advisors is expanding its US operations through the opening of a Florida office as well as hiring staff in four other locations to help grow its digital investment platform.

The New York-headquartered firm has opened an office in Palm Beach and plans to open further presences in Chicago, Los Angeles, Texas and Bellevue, Washington, managing partner and co-founder Alan Pardee told Private Equity International.

Mercury wants to hire professionals in the four planned offices as early as autumn to focus on distribution for iFunds, the online platform it launched in January.

iFunds allows limited partners who want to invest as little as $100,000 to access alternative investments, including private equity and secondaries strategies.

The new locations will bring Mercury’s office count to 12 – the firm has bureaus in London, Tokyo, Singapore and Dubai in addition to four in the US.

North America accounts for the bulk of capital Mercury raises at around 42 percent, with Asia at 22 percent and Europe at 18 percent.

“It has been a stronger Q1 than normal,” Pardee said, adding that while last year was characterised by LP cautiousness regarding events such as the UK’s Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump, this has largely disappeared in 2017 and that many commitments that were slated to close in the fourth quarter of last year ended up closing in the first quarter of 2017.

Mercury spun out from Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2008. The firm has helped place funds including Coller Capital’s $7.2 billion 2014-vintage secondaries fund and Nautic Partners’ 2015-vintage buyout fund, which closed on $900 million, according to PEI data.

This story has been updated to show Mercury recently opened an office in Florida, not California, and that it also plans to open a presence in Texas.