Acquisitions are still going on at a steady pace in the advisory business -- and the deals are moving up the food chain as big RIAs gather more and more scale.
According to Schwab's statistics, 12 registered investment advisory firms with more than $50 million in AUM got bought in the second quarter.
That's only a few fewer deals than the company reported in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the size of the transactions soared 92% year over year, with the average RIA getting acquired in the recent quarter clocking in at $1.1 billion in AUM.
About half of the deals represent RIAs buying smaller rivals -- a factor Schwab attributes to "growing sophistication" in the channel when it comes to firms expanding their businesses into regional or even national markets.
Banks and private equity firms remain significant players in the space, drawn to the cross-selling opportunities and cash flow that a successful RIA will throw off.
According to Schwab, the biggest RIA firms can sell for nine times annual cash flow.