According to Echelon Partners, the second quarter of 2018 was the “most active RIA M&A quarter ever.”
“We are looking back on the most active RIA M&A quarter ever, exemplifying the current strength of the RIA marketplace,” Mike Wunderli, a managing director at Echelon Partners, said in a statement.
A “highest-ever” 48 RIA M&A transactions were consummated in the second quarter. These second quarter transactions involving RIAs were a considerable 14% higher than the 2017 quarterly average of 42 deals, which Echelon says made it the highest quarter of RIA M&A transactions ever recorded.
This marks just the second time in the past five years that Echelon has witnessed RIA M&A activity in the second quarter exceed first-quarter activity.
“As the yield curve threatens to invert and this economic cycle presses towards record length, it is possible some business owners are seeking liquidity while valuations are attractive and buyers are plentiful,” according to the report. “This late-cycle consolidation can be expected to continue as RIAs remain attractive assets for buyers.”
Breakaway activity maintained its swift pace in the second quarter, with 123 departures, as fears of an impending end to the broker protocol pact have subsided.
“Economic conditions have also allowed breakaways to remain at near-record levels, as advisors seem to have gained confidence from witnessing so many successful breakaways in Q1,” Wunderli said in a statement.