Although the pace of mergers and acquisitions activity among asset and wealth management firms slowed during the third quarter, deal activity is on track to make 2019 a record year, said a PricewaterhouseCoopers report released Thursday.
Total disclosed deal value was $331 million, down 74% from the prior quarter and down 90% from the third quarter of 2018. However, the total deal value for the first nine months of 2019 was $13.7 billion, nearly three times the total during the same period in 2018.
"Three forces have been spurring consolidation: fee pressure, slowing growth in assets under management, and the persistent shift from active to passive investing," the report said.
There were 48 announced deals during the third quarter, down 24% from the previous quarter, but up 30% from the same period a year earlier. Of these 48 deals, 26 involved asset managers, while 22 were for wealth management firms.
In addition, the 161 transactions during the first nine months of the year is significantly higher than the 115 announced deals during the same period in 2018.
PwC singled out Assured Guaranty's acquisition of BlueMountain Capital Management for $160 million as one of the notable deals.