Overall asset manager M&A activity increased 19% in the first half of 2010 compared with a year earlier, including a 108% increase in activity involving alternatives managers, according to a reported issued Thursday by consultant Freeman & Co.
“Activity in 2010 has rebounded from the depths of early 2009, and 2010 should be a much more robust year,” Eric Weber, a managing director and COO, said in a telephone interview. However, activity is down about 10% from 2007, which he attributes to continued uncertainty about the financial markets.
The report showed 102 total merger-and-acquisition transactions in the first six months of this year, compared to 86 in the first half of 2009. Deals with alternative managers increased to 52 in the first six months of 2010, up from 25 in the first six months of 2009.
Large deals were up slightly, with 10 M&A deals involving firms with more than $10 billion in assets in the first half of 2010 compared to nine for the same period a year earlier.
Although the pace of activity increased, the assets under management involved in the transactions declined to $408 billion in the first six months of 2010, down 85% from the $2.7 trillion in the first half of 2009.
Mr. Weber said the large decline in AUM was because of two megadeals in the first six months of 2009 — BlackRock’s acquisition of BGI and the Societe Generale purchase of Credit Agricole Asset Management.