Mergers and acquisition activity among registered investment advisers may be a lagging market indicator as market growth finally seems to be boosting the number and size of deals in the channel.
In the first half of 2015, there were 37 deals, up from 29 over the same time last year, according to a survey of around 1,000 firms by Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. The average size of the assets of the firms acquired in those deals ticked up to $1.35 billion, the highest since 2009 when it was $1.7 billion. Eleven of the deals were for firms with $1 billion or more in assets.
Growth of the RIA channel and strong markets have helped increase valuations and put firms in a position to invest, according to Jonathan Beatty, senior vice president of sales and relationship management at Schwab Advisor Services.