The number of RIA deals declined in 2012 over 2011 but the size of the deals increased. They were also driven by national firms.
Of the 45 deals done in 2012, 25 were done by RIA partnerships or so-called aggregating firms.
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The view is this is good both for advisors who are seeking independence and for RIAs looking to either expand their footprint or find an exit strategy.
The average deal size increased from $798 million in 2011 to over $1.3 billion in 2012. Total assets of firms involved in deals in 2012 was $58.8 billion over the $43.9 billion in 2011.
One advantage larger firms have is their ability to focus on getting deals done where RIAs are more focused on serving their clients.
Growth in the RIA industry is being fueled by the convergence of two forces: advisors wishing to go independent yet not wanting to run their own businesses and seasoned financial advisors focused on succession planning