The Wire

June 5, 2020

Average valuation for RIA sale jumps to 6.6x Ebitda

RIA valuations soared in 2019, according to a new report from Advisor Growth Strategies.

The RIA consultancy found in a new study, ‘The RIA Deal Room: The Next Generation of RIA M&A,’ that the median average earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) multiple paid for an advisory firm jumped 29% in 2019, from a median of 5.1x over the course of 2015-2018 to 6.6x in 2019.

June 5, 2020

RIA M&A Activity Will Persist Post-Covid-19: Report

The coronavirus pandemic will certainly change the RIA M&A landscape, but recent growth in valuations and projections for how the industry will change suggest potential sellers will have more choice, according to a recent report.

Sixty-six percent of all RIA M&A deals in 2019 involved just 16 “acquisition brands,” compared to 13 in 2018 and 11 in 2017, Advisor Growth Strategies found. Meanwhile, $1.6 trillion in assets under management — and more than $20 billion in total valuation — is projected to “go into motion” in the next five to 10 years, according to AGS’ analysis of 2019 deals and a survey of RIAs conducted in early 2020 about valuation, business management and engaging in M&A. As more RIA owners look to exit, the industry will need more acquirers, AGS says. 

June 5, 2020

The Forces Boosting RIA Valuations and Driving a Dramatic Shift in Deal Structure

Buyers and sellers of RIAs have begun heavily favoring cash to fund deals. But valuations have increased despite the immediate payouts to sellers, a sign of the growing prevalence and clout of large RIAs in the country.

In 2019, the average acquisition of one RIA by another was funded by 70% cash, 22% equity and 8% contingency (meaning a future payout would be determined by conditions agreed upon by the buyer and seller). That preference for cash represented a “large shift in deal structure,” according to a new report by Advisor Growth Strategies, a consulting firm to wealth managers.

June 4, 2020

Valuations Leap in RIA Deals, Reveals New Advisor Growth Strategies Study

The pandemic has impacted RIA M&A transactions, but increased competition and the need for succession planning that drove a blockbuster 2019 for deals have not gone anywhere, according to The 2020 RIA Deal Room studyAdvisor Growth Strategies, one of the industry’s most trusted resources, researched 31 transactions that took place in 2019, surveyed 96 advisory firms and applied their own insights as leaders in RIA business management. With the support of their sponsor, BlackRock, Advisor Growth Strategies releases the most in-depth, quantitative study publicly available of why and how RIA industry deals succeed.

June 4, 2020

Approval clears the way for the mega-merger of RIA custodians and discount brokers to close on schedule.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved Charles Schwab’s $26bn takeover of TD Ameritrade.

Regulatory approval clears the way for the merger of discount brokers to close in the second half of 2020, as the companies indicated when the deal was first revealed in November of 2019. Shareholders of both Schwab and TD Ameritrade are set to vote on the merger today.

June 3, 2020

WSJ Wealth Adviser Briefing: Gun Stocks, Safer Investments, Sleep Changes

John Furey, managing partner and founder of Advisor Growth Strategies, wrote in Barron's that it stands to reason that a global crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic, and its economic
aftershocks, would slam the brakes on mergers and acquisitions in the RIA space. Time will not wait for firms in need of succession plans. They need resources and commitment to court the next generation of advisors and clients, and those resources must come from growth. We don’t know how long the pandemic will impact the industry’s appetite for M&A, but the good news is that RIAs can still do plenty of things, right now, to secure advantageous footing when we come through the crisis.

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