Money manager M&A activity in the first quarter increased about 10% from the previous quarter, with assets involved in the transactions totaling $1.4 trillion, up from $1.335 trillion. Assets rose 52% from the year-earlier quarter.
Thirty-three money management deals took place during the most recent quarter, up from 31 in the previous quarter. In the first quarter of 2017, there were 24 transactions.
The blockbuster deal in the quarter was the spinoff of DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA from Deutsche Bank AG. The newly independent company has more than $800 billion in assets under management. Nippon Life Insurance Co. took a 5% stake in the spinoff.
Blackstone's Strategic Capital Holdings Fund made three minority investments in the quarter. Fiera Capital made two acquisitions in the quarter, bringing its total to six since 2016. A notable deal in the hedge fund-of-funds universe was Lighthouse Partners' acquisition of Mesirow Advanced Strategies, with $8 billion in AUM. Lighthouse will become the eighth largest hedge fund-of-funds firm, up from 17th largest.
During the first quarter, there were 17 deals that were retirement related but did not involve money managers. Ascensus completed four of those deals. It acquired Dedicated Defined Benefit Services, Qualified Plans, Avintus and ASPERIA Retirement Plan Solutions. SS&C Technologies Holdings paid $5.4 billion for DST Systems.
All information is based on transactions reported by Pensions & Investments' global reporting staff.