Get the RIA Deal Room Report

“The RIA Deal Room,” sponsored by BlackRock, provides unbiased, data-driven insights into the evolution of the M&A landscape, including how acquirers and sellers get deals done as the market professionalizes. The concept behind the study is to provide a more novel, in-depth look at the mechanics underlying RIA M&A transactions and provide information that drives readers to think about M&A strategically and better understand the implications of industry deal headlines. This special research report leverages actual transaction data and case studies to highlight the changing dynamics within the RIA M&A landscape and debunks misconceptions of deal mechanics.

Findings from the 2024 RIA Deal Room report include:

  • The report highlights the redefinition of the “middle market” within the RIA industry, driven by the size and breadth of the largest platforms. This reshuffling sets the stage for potential transformative industry transactions, with established platforms and new middle-market firms poised to lead the way.
  • Deal structures increasingly prioritize equity over cash, reflecting a trend that began in 2022, with buyers seeking risk alignment and partnership-oriented deals while sellers explore creative monetization options such as minority stakes.
  • Sellers continued to enjoy a fruitful market in 2023, with demand remaining stable and a diverse range of acquirers entering the fray, including incumbent acquirers, independent broker-dealers, and first-time buyers. The emergence of new minority specialist investors further enriched the buyer landscape, as sellers were met with a more selective buyer population that leaned into finding their ideal M&A candidates.