M&A Deal Flow Stayed Steady in First Half

The first half of 2012 saw 25 deals completed, totaling about $36.2 billion in assets under management, according to Schwab Advisor Services Reports.

Industrywide data on registered investment adviser (RIA) mergers and acquisition (M&A) activity from Schwab details total transactions and average deal assets under management (AUM) for the first half of the year.

“RIA M&A deal flow has remained steady during the first half of 2012, recording just slightly fewer transactions than the same period last year,” said Jon Beatty, senior vice president, sales and relationship management, Schwab Advisor Services. “While the second quarter slowed a bit in terms of the number of completed transactions, we’ve seen a big jump in the average deal size so far this year, indicating the overall strength of the RIA segment.”

Highlights include:


  • The average deal had assets under management of $1.4 billion;
  • Eight completed transactions in the second quarter for a total of $12.3 billion in AUM; and
  • National acquiring firms are the dominant buyer category, closing three transactions in the second quarter and approximately 50% of the total deals since the fourth quarter of 2011.

Schwab’s M&A data focused on investment advisory firms that predominantly serve high-net-worth retail investors, firms with at least $50 million in AUM and breakaway brokers from wirehouses who received consideration for joining an RIA.

Schwab began tracking M&A transactions in 2004.