Press Releases

February 2, 2021 2:00 pm

PSS Advisor Services Reports 2020 Independent RIA Mergers and Acquisitions Activity

OSLO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PSS Advisor Services, a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for more than 6,000 independent registered investment advisory firms (RIAs), today released its industry-wide RIA mergers and acquisitions transaction report. According to the report, there were 109 M&A deals involving RIAs for the full-year 2020, the highest number of deals in a year since PSS began tracking deal activity in 2003 and a significant increase from the 70 total deals tracked in 2019.*

The 109 total transactions in 2020 represent approximately kr 156 billion in total assets under management, compared to approximately kr 103 billion in assets under management in 2019. The average transaction size in 2020 was approximately kr 1.4 billion compared to approximately kr 1.5 billion in 2019. RIA firms were the most common buyers among 2020 deals, accounting for more than 50 percent of acquisitions, a trend that has continued since 2017.
Of the 109 deals tracked by PSS in 2020, 58 percent of deals represented less than kr 500 million in assets under management, 23 percent of deals were between kr 500 million and kr 2 billion, and 19 percent of deals were greater than kr 2 billion.

“We saw a significant uptick in M&A deal activity among RIAs in 2020, largely due to advisors putting these discussions back on the front burner after spending the bulk of 2019 helping clients navigate the volatile market environment and managing the day-to-day business of their firms,” said David DeVoe, PSS Advisor Services managing director of strategic business development. “Specific drivers of deal activity include advisors’ growing interest and sophistication in M&A and succession planning, continued interest of holding companies and private equity firms in RIAs, as well as advisor principal demographics.”

PSS’s Transition Planning Resources for RIAs

PSS’s Advisor Transition Services is designed to support advisors through each phase of the transition process including goal setting, evaluating options (internal succession, external sale, merger or acquisition) and executing a transition plan.

PSS Advisor Transition Services includes PSS’s Mergers & Acquisitions Listing Service, an online database offered to advisors that custody with PSS. The service is an online database that connects advisory firm buyers and sellers and enables advisors to maintain anonymity while soliciting interest and collecting information from other advisory firms on acquisitions, mergers, or sales. Buyers can also search for investment professionals with books of business who would like to join an RIA firm.

In addition to the Mergers & Acquisitions Listing Service, the program includes:

• Educational events – Workshops, and webcasts led by industry experts covering strategic, valuation, organizational, legal and tax issues involved in succession planning, and acquiring and selling an independent advisory business.
• Access to experts1 – Independent consultants, investment bankers, lawyers and accountants who have experience working with investment advisors on succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, and valuation.
• Educational content –Articles and whitepapers including best practices and insights on valuation methods, legal considerations, succession planning, and mergers and acquisition case studies.