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Six Takeaways From Wealth Management M&A in 2018

We parsed through Echelon Partners’ 34-page report on deals involving wealth managers and wealthtech companies last year. Here are the highlights.

As the wealth management industry matures, merger and acquisition activity has grown from sporadic to bustling. In 2018, there were 181 deals involving RIAs, another banner year thanks to consolidators of registered investment advisors. Deal volume reached a new high for the sixth-straight year.

This week, Echelon Partners, a Los Angeles-based investment bank and consulting firm focused on wealth and investment managers, published a 34-page report on deal activity in 2018 that is packed with data and analysis.

We parsed through the report and pulled out some of the highlights and corresponding charts.

One thing to remember: Small deals, internal deals and evolving categories of firms can impair data consistency, which makes tracking deals in wealth and investment management “still largely an imprecise science,” Echelon said.

The number of deals tallied by the firm, which has some of the most comprehensive reporting on M&A activity, might represent only one-third to one-fourth of total deals, according to Echelon.


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