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PwC Thinks Wealth Management M&A Activity is “Unusually Weak”

By Alex Padalka October 26, 2018

The pace of mergers and acquisitions in the wealth management space in the third quarter was “unusually weak,” according to a recent report from PwC.

There were 26 asset and wealth management deals in the third quarter, which was a small uptick from the 24 deals in the previous quarter, PwC says.

And the number of wealth management deals also inched up from 12 in the second quarter to 13 in the third, according to the report. But that is off by a third from the historical averages during both the second and third quarters, PwC says. In the third quarter of 2017, for example, the wealth management space had 24 deals, according to the report.

Deal value across both asset and wealth management, meanwhile, dropped 66%, from $4 billion in the second quarter to just $819 million in the third, PwC says.

Almost half of that came from just one deal: Victory Capital Holding’s $399 million acquisition of the hedge fund manager Harvest Volatility Management, according to the report.

More than half of the remainder also came from one deal: BAM Advisor Services’ $235 million acquisition of LWI Financial from Loring Ward, PwC says.

However, three-quarters of the deal value in the second quarter came from just one acquisition: Hellman & Friedman’s more than $3 billion acquisition of Financial Engines, according to PwC.