After a disappointing 2016 for mergers and acquisitions, next year we’re likely in for a rebound, a new Deloitte report says, with 86 percent of private equity and 71 percent of corporate dealmakers expecting to close more deals in the next year. And a majority of respondents expect those deals to be larger as well. Technology is the sector respondents expect will see the most deal activity, at about twice the rate of financial services, construction, energy, telecommunications and professional services, respectively. "Gaining technology or niche advantages via acquisition can really help create business value when strong targets are identified and deals are well executed,” said Russell Thomson, managing partner of Deloitte’s U.S. merger and acquisitions services practice.
A new study by the Financial Planning Association and Investopedia found that while investors are happy with using robo advisors, they are more satisfied when automated advice is teamed with a human advisor. The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. residents, revealed that 73 percent were satisfied or highly satisfied with using robos, while 70 percent of investors primarily working with human advisors were also satisfied or very satisfied. Eighty-one percent of those using an automated investing platform said they were confident that it supports their financial planning goals, while those working with humans were more satisfied about advice related to retirement, estate and tax planning. "Technology is rapidly changing the way people invest and manage their finances, but clearly investors value the high-touch financial advice afforded by professionals," 2016 FPA President Pamela Sandy said. "Those investors who utilize the benefits of technology and maintain a face-to-face relationship with a qualified financial planner, like a CFP professional, will be best positioned to meet their financial goals and achieve financial security.”
The Leaders Group, a Colorado-based broker/dealer, announced Wednesday a new partnership with technology firm Advizr as the exclusive provider of financial planning software for its 300 advisors. Advizr will help Leaders Group serve mass affluent and senior clientele as well as increase the number of clients they serve by handling administrative tasks. Many of the advisors are BGAs (brokerage general agents) specializing in whole life insurance distribution, and many are looking to financial planning as a way to help comply with the DOL’s fiduciary rule. Hussain Zaidi, the co-founder and CEO of Advizr, was recently named as one of WealthManagement.com’s “10 to Watch in 2017,” and Advizr has twice been nominated for “best financial planning software.”