In the first quarter of 2013 there were 13 completed merger and acquisition (M&A) deals totaling $5.8 billion in assets under management (AUM) within the independent registered investment advisor (RIA) segment, Schwab Advisor Services reported.
It was the highest quarterly total since the first quarter of 2012, when 17 deals were closed totaling $24 billion in AUM.
“We didn’t see a mega deal like we saw in Q1 2012,” said Jon Beatty, senior vice president, sales and relationship management, Schwab Advisor Services.
Acquisition activity by RIAs increased this quarter, with 54% of the total transactions closed by this buyer category.
Early findings from Schwab’s 2013 RIA Benchmarking Study show that approximately 27% of RIAs surveyed are actively seeking to buy another RIA firm. For firms with $1 billion or more in assets, one-third are looking to make an acquisition.
“There will be an increase in appetite for deals among RIAs moving forward if the economy improves and capital and liquidity becomes more accessible,” Beatty said in a release.
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