Money management M&A transactions announced so far this year have totaled 34, close to the 36 in the first quarter of 2012, according to Sandler O'Neill + Partners.
Total deal value year to date is $3.8 billion, mostly the result of Orix Corp.'s $2.58 billion announced acquisition of 90% of Robeco Groep from Rabobank on Feb. 19. Aggregate assets under management to be transferred in the deals announced so far in 2013 total $540 billion — of which $245 billion came from the Orix-Robeco deal. For the entire first quarter of last year, total disclosed deal value was $1.6 billion and aggregate AUM transacted was $289 billion.
Aaron Dorr, managing director at Sandler O'Neill, said in a telephone interview Friday that manager M&A activity this year should be similar to 2012. “Last year, there was a lot more overhang — unemployment, the election, European uncertainty. Some of that could still come to the fore, but the election's behind us, the economy is stronger than it was, the Federal Reserve still has supportive monetary policy in place. All of that gives greater comfort to potential buyers who have cash earning zero return or access to capital at very attractive rates.”
Fourteen of the deals so far this year, or 41%, involved alternatives managers, up from 34% in the first quarter of 2012. Mr. Dorr expects alternatives and “anything global in nature” to continue to drive M&A deal activity in 2013.
On Friday, Sandler O'Neill issued the final numbers in its annual report, “2012 M&A Activity in the Asset Management Industry,” which showed there were a total of 143 money manager transactions last year, up 8% from 2011. Total deal value was $8.5 billion, down 16%, while aggregate AUM was $1.5 trillion, up about 15%. Preliminary 2012 report numbers were released on Jan. 16.