Wealth management merger and acquisition activity was more robust in January than in any single month since Fidelity Investments began tracking in 2016, the firm reported Friday.
Twenty-three RIA deals, representing $47.8 billion in client assets under management, shot past the previous record of 17 set in December. In addition, January deals also surpassed the highest monthly assets under management recorded in November by $2.1 billion.
By way of comparison, total assets in 2016 M&A activity were $49 billion.
Seven January deals involved sellers with upward of $1 billion in client assets, or 85% of the month’s assets under management.
Fidelity Institutional said that after significant consolidations in 2019 that led to a relatively quiet 2020, the independent broker-dealer space had three deals in January, totaling $23.9 billion.
“We’re seeing the surge in M&A activity from the last half of 2020 accelerate into 2021,” Scott Slater, vice president of practice management and consulting at Fidelity Institutional, said in a statement.