Third-quarter RIA deals break a record

A record 55 mergers, acquisitions and other deals involving registered investment advisory firms took place in the third quarter, a 57% increase over the previous quarter, according to a report by Echelon Partners.

“In total, there were 23 firms with more than $1 billion in assets acquired during the third quarter — also a record level,” the company said. “The firms that are being acquired in 2020 are some of the largest — with an average of over $1.7 billion in assets — and most professionally run organizations in the wealth management industry

Professional buyers — which include platforms, consolidators and aggregators — and their interest in acquiring larger RIA firms fueled a substantial amount of deal activity during the third quarter, the company said.

Echelon noted that Creative Planning and Hightower Advisors each announced nine deals during the third quarter alone, accounting for 11% of total overall activity.

“With heightened competition between professional buyers over high-quality sellers, we anticipate this trend will continue and that it will play an increased role in M&A activity moving forward,” Echelon said.

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