The RIA space saw a healthy boost in mergers and acquisitions in the first month of 2020 while the independent broker-dealer space stayed quiet, according to a recent report.

Last month saw 13 RIA transactions, an 18% increase over January 2019, Fidelity says in its recent M&A transactions report.

Those deals' total client assets, however, was $18.9 billion in January 2020, a 372% jump from the same month the prior year, according to the report.

Meanwhile, five of the deals made up for 84% of the assets under management exchanged in January, Fidelity says, noting that it shows continued growth in the sale of multi-billion-dollar firms.

The IBD space, however, had no deals in January 2020, although Fidelity notes that Blucora, the parent company of Avantax Wealth Management, which has been active in the IBD space, said it’s acquiring the $1.4 billion CPA-focused RIA HK Financial Services.

January’s M&A results come on the heels of a record year for wealth management transactions, according to the report. And last month’s activity “suggests that the torrid pace of transaction activity will continue,” Fidelity says.

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