Schwab Advisor Services Releases Industry-Wide RIA Merger and Acquisition Activity for Third Quarter of 2012

National Acquiring Firms remain the dominant buyer category, completing 7 of the 10 deals for Q3

Monday, October 22, 2012 8:30 am PDT



Public Company Information:

"While national acquiring firms remain dominant players, RIAs as acquirers have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right opportunity."

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Advisor Services released today industry-wide data on independent registered investment advisor (RIA) mergers and acquisition activity for the third quarter of 2012. The results are available and include details of total transactions and average deal assets under management for the third quarter.

Highlights include:

  • The year-to-date assets under management (AUM) for M&A deal activity reached $42.3 billion at the end of the third quarter, which nearly eclipses last year’s AUM total of $43.9 billion;
  • Ten (10) transactions were completed in Q3, totaling approximately $6.1 billion in AUM;
  • National acquiring firms continue to be the dominant buyer category, closing seven (7) deals this quarter, bringing the total transactions completed up to nineteen (19) for the year.

“The uncertainty in the markets and the upcoming presidential election has led to a decline in M&A activity this past quarter,” said Jon Beatty, senior vice president, sales and relationship management, Schwab Advisor Services. “While national acquiring firms remain dominant players, RIAs as acquirers have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right opportunity."

Schwab began tracking M&A transactions in 2004. In addition to providing M&A data, Schwab has a number of services to support advisors through the many types of transitions they may encounter.

Schwab Advisor Transition Services

Schwab Advisor Transition Services is designed to support advisors through each phase of the transition process, including goal setting, evaluating options (internal succession, external sale, and merger or acquisition) and executing a transaction plan.

Schwab’s Transition Services includes Schwab’s Mergers & Acquisition Listing Service, an online database offered to advisors that custody with Schwab Advisor Services. The service connects advisor firm buyers and sellers and enables advisors to maintain anonymity while soliciting interest and collecting information from other advisor firms on acquisition, mergers, or sales. Buyers also can search for investment professionals with books of business who would like to join an RIA firm.

Additional information and new transitions content are available at www.SchwabTransition.com1

All data compiled and analyzed by Schwab Advisor Services. Data reflects firms being sold with assets under management exceeding $50 million as of September 30, 2012.

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.7 million active brokerage accounts, 1.5 million corporate retirement plan participants, 844,000 banking accounts, and $1.89 trillion in client assets. The company was ranked ‘Highest in Investor Satisfaction With Self-Directed Services’ in the 2012 US Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction StudySM from J.D Power and Associates. Through its operating subsidiaries, the company provides a full range of securities brokerage, banking, money management and financial advisory services to individual investors and independent investment advisors. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC,, and affiliates offer a complete range of investment services and products including an extensive selection of mutual funds; financial planning and investment advice; retirement plan and equity compensation plan services; compliance and trade monitoring solutions; referrals to independent fee-based investment advisors; and custodial, operational and trading support for independent, fee-based investment advisors through its Advisor Services division. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides trust and custody services, banking and mortgage services and products. Investment products offered by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits or obligations of Charles Schwab Bank, and are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of principal invested. More information is available at and (1012-6860)

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1 The information provided on the Site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide specific financial, accounting, tax, legal, or regulatory advice. Schwab makes no representations as to the accuracy or appropriateness of the information for any given situation.

Schwab may limit what can be listed on the M&A Listing Service. Buyer listings and Career Opportunity listings are generally, but not always, limited to independent investment advisors that custody their clients' assets with Schwab Advisor Services. Schwab Advisor Services may further limit Buyer listings and Career Opportunity listings to those of its clients with whom it has favorable business prospects. Schwab Advisor Services has a financial interest in, and compensation received by Schwab Advisor Services personnel is affected by, the retention and growth of assets custodied at Schwab Advisor Services. This may incent Schwab Advisor Services to decline some proposed Buyer and Career Opportunity listings.

Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with or supervised by Schwab.

© 2012 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Member SIPC) All rights reserved.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:


Charles Schwab
Anita Fox, 415-667-1308
The Neibart Group
Sarah Gormley, 718-875-2122

Multimedia Files:

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Industry-wide M&A Transactions as of September 30, 2012 (Graphic: Schwab Advisor Services)
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Quarterly Industry-wide M&A Transactions July 1, 2011 - September 30, 2012 (Graphic: Schwab Advisor Services)
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Percentage of M&A Transactions by Buyer Type as of June 30, 2012 (Graphic: Schwab Advisor Services)
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