Many industries in which merger and acquisition activity has been a dominant force have not seen a return to pre-pandemic activity levels.
In the largely fragmented RIA channel, however, M&A has accelerated at a rapid pace since June after starting to rebound from a three-month slowdown driven by the onset of the coronavirus, Fidelity Investments reported Tuesday.
During the third quarter, the RIA channel had 37 transactions, representing $48 billion, the highest total transactions and assets for any quarter since Fidelity began tracking in 2016.
Deal size continued to rise during the July-September period. Fifteen deals involving $1 billion-plus sellers broke the previous record of 10 deals in the fourth quarter of 2019.
In total, 41% of the third quarter’s deals and 82% of its assets under management involved sellers with more than $1 billion in assets.
Despite the steep drop in activity from March to May, year-to-date totals are down by only 12% in transactions and 11% in assets under management from record-breaking 2019, and indications are that this strong pace will continue through the end of 2020.