RIA mergers and acquisitions in January outpaced the deal activity recorded in each of the previous two years, according to DeVoe & Company, which has been tracking this data since 2013.
Fourteen transactions involving RIA businesses were announced in January, exceeding the number of deals executed in the first quarters of 2013 and 2014, when there were 12 and 10 deals, respectively, according to the firm.
An estimated $29.5 billion in assets under management changed hands in January, more than half of the total AUM transacted during the entire year of 2014, according to DeVoe,.
A few of the more sizable transactions included Royal Bank of Canada’s purchase of City National and its $16 billion in AUM associated with ownership stakes in Convergent Capital Management and other wealth management companies; AMG Wealth Partners’ purchase of $6 billion Baker Street Advisors; and Beacon Trust’s purchase of $1.5 billion MDE Group.
Advisor teams leaving wirehouses to join independent firms also drove the increasing numbers, said DeVoe.
“We anticipate 2015 will be a record year for mid-sized and large breakaway broker teams to join established RIAs, due to a spike in the expiration dates of packages wirehouses gave advisors following the 2008 market decline,” said Adam Levy, a managing director at DeVoe & Company.