There were 57 money manager M&A deals globally in the first half of 2012 involving firms with more than $500 million in assets under management, unchanged from the year-earlier period, according to M&A advisory firm Freeman & Co.
That stability made money management the belle of the ball for the first half of the year, compared to declines of 9% for broker-dealer related merger-and-acquisition deals, 11% for financial technology-related deals and 44% for private equity-related transactions, according to the Freeman report on financial services M&A.
Freeman said the number of “large deals,” featuring acquisitions of firms with more than $10 billion in AUM, rose to 10 for the first half of 2012 from eight a year earlier, helping lift combined AUM for each period's 57 deals to $468 billion from $327 billion.
Freeman's report noted that liquidity being injected by the European Central Bank has allowed eurozone firms to hold on a bit longer to non-core businesses, but predicted that pressures to divest will accelerate in 2013.
By region, deal activity declined in both the U.S. and Europe, but rose in Asia.
“We expect activity (broader financial sector M&A) to be flat throughout 2012 and then to increase 10%-20% in 2013,” Eric Weber, managing director and COO, said in a news release.
For the second half of 2012 and in 2013, the Freeman report predicted more large money manager M&A deals to come, “characterized by strategic acquisitions on behalf of stronger firms and divestitures from larger banks seeking to raise capital.”