Wealth management merger and acquisition activity hit an all-time high of 138 deals in 2016—roughly 12 per month. This represents a 10 percent growth from 2015, the previous record-high year, and a 16 percent compound growth rate since activity bottomed out in 2009.
M&A activity in the industry has increased in six of the last seven years.
If trends continue, 2017 should set another record-high, perhaps around 160 deals.
Echelon Partners, which tracks activity for its annual “M&A Dealbook” report, said the activity is driven by the increased availability of financing, especially from a few key cash-flow-appreciating lenders looking to do $100 million to $200 million in loans per pear. There are also an increased number of peer-to-peer deals, more assistance available for sellers, and more knowledgeable sellers. The increased age of advisors is also playing a factor as more advisors are timing their exit strategies with the current market cycle.
Echelon added that the current run of M&A activity is the third-longest expansion in over 100 years, and odds are high that a turn is coming soon.