As various sectors of the financial industry look to wealth management as a stable source of revenue, the value of mergers and acquisitions in the space has reached an 11-year high, according to news reports.
Announced M&A deals for U.S. wealth advisors and brokers passed $5.9 billion even before Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade announced their $26 billion merger late last month, Bloomberg writes, citing its own analysis.
That’s compared to $5.5 billion for all of 2018, according to the news service. In all, there have been 79 deals year-to-date as of last Wednesday, compared to 92 deals during the whole of last year, Bloomberg writes.
This level of deal activity is driven by companies eyeing wealth management business for steady revenue and by RIA firms looking to gain scale, as well as by founders of advice firms looking to cash in while market valuations are high, according to the news service.
“[Sellers] take into consideration it’s the 11th year of an expansion. If not now, when?” Peter Nesvold, an investment banker with Raymond James Financial, tells Bloomberg.
Private equity shops such as Stone Point Capital, KKR, and Oak Hill Capital, meanwhile, are “feeding the trend,” the news service writes.
The consolidation trend “may maintain momentum” next year, coinciding with “long-term trends such as fee pressure, the shift to passive from active investing and a need to spend on technology,” Alison Williams, senior analyst at Bloomberg, writes.