With three months left in the year, the registered investment advisor space has already seen more mergers and acquisitions in 2021 than in all of 2020, according to a new report.

Year-to-date, the RIA industry has had 160 transactions, compared to 159 completed during all of last year, DeVoe & Co. said.

Momentum had been strong this year even before the third-quarter numbers: The industry saw the same number of deals in the first half of the year as it did in all of 2018, the company reported earlier.

In addition, the third quarter of 2021 has already set a new record: with several days to go and 59 transactions already reported, that’s more than the previous record of 58 deals in a quarter — set, coincidentally, in the first quarter of 2021, DeVoe says. The industry is now regularly seeing 50 or more deals each quarter, according to the report.

Back in 2013, the RIA space had just 36 deals during the whole year, according to DeVoe. That was followed by 41 in 2014, although the first half of 2015 then saw 40 deals, with the year ending with 78 deals in total, the company reported previously.

“The amount of M&A activity and interest in transactions among advisors is truly unprecedented,” David DeVoe, founder and chief executive officer of DeVoe, said in a statement. “High valuations, a newfound focus on solving succession and achieving scale, and concerns about looming tax increases are driving an acceleration of external sales.”

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