Asset and wealth management firms are facing significant challenges that are driving an increase in M&A activity. According to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the number of deals made in the third quarter of 2016 was up 20 percent from the second quarter. One trend driving the increased consolidation is traditional managers continuing to lose significant assets to passive strategies. The resources needed to comply with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary law is also powering consolidation among wealth management firms. While there weren’t any billion dollar blockbuster deals in the third quarter, the fourth quarter has already seen one with Henderson Group acquiring Janus Capital for $4.2 billion, leaving PwC confident that current trends will continue.
College students who lose their financial aid are the most likely to drop out, according to a new study by education research firm EAB. The study analyzed the correlation between success and financial aid for more than 40,000 students at three U.S. universities. The study found that students who lost over $10,000 in aid were 19 percentage points more likely to drop out than their peers, while those who lost between $1,500 and $2,000 in aid were just 3 percentage points more likely to drop out. The student's performance matters too, with students with grade point averages of 3.0 or higher more likely to drop out than their peers. Students with GPAs between 2.0 and 3.0 accounted for 45 percent of the dropouts in the study, Marketplace.org reported.
In a strange incident, the Metropolitan Opera was forced to cancel two performances over the weekend when an audience member threw his dead friend's ashes into the orchestra pit. Fox News reports that the man got up during the second intermission of Giaochino Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” and sprinkled a powdery substance into the pit. According to several audience members who had spoken to him beforehand, the man wanted to honor his deceased friend and opera mentor. Authorities were forced to cancel the rest of the show, as well as a later performance of “L’Italiana in Algeri” as precautionary measures. When asked about the incident, Met general manager Peter Gelb explained, “We appreciate opera lovers coming to the Met. We hope that they will not bring their ashes with them.”