Money manager mergers and acquisitions worldwide decreased 36% to 48 in the first six months of 2014, compared to the same period a year ago, said a Freeman & Co. report issued Tuesday.
Deal activity in the first half of 2014, however, outpaced the second half of 2013, when 45 transactions were announced.
The deals in the first half of the year represented $1.1 trillion of assets under management, a decrease of 8.3% from a year earlier. For all of 2013, transactions involved $1.8 trillion in AUM, according to the Freeman report. Fourteen deals in the first six months of 2014 each involved more than $10 billion in AUM, compared with 20 in the same time period a year ago.
In the U.S., there were 34 transactions in the first six months, down 19% from the first half of 2013.
In Europe, there were 20 transactions, a decrease of 31%. Some transactions included managers in both the U.S. and Europe. For the rest of 2014, Freeman executives expect money manager deals to remain flat.
“Following a high volume of large, transformative asset management transactions occurring in the preceding few years, deal activity declined from (the first half of) 2013 to (the first half of) 2014, as firms have focused on building scale through product gaps, especially in growth areas such as liquid alternatives, smart beta and niche exchange-traded products,” the report stated.