Schwab Advisor Services Reports 2011 Independent Registered Investment Advisors Mergers and Acquisitions Activity

While Overall Number of Deals Declined in 2011, RIA Deals Increased and Banks Became More Active

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 8:30 am PST



Public Company Information:

"Market volatility and economic uncertainty led to a decline in M&A activity in the second half of the year"

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Advisor Services, a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for nearly 7,000 independent registered investment advisory firms (RIAs), today released its industry-wide RIA mergers and acquisitions transaction report. According to the report, there were 57 M&A deals involving RIAs for the full year 2011, representing approximately $44 billion in total assets under management (AUM)*. The average deal size in 2011 was $798 million, the lowest average since 2005. In contrast, there were 70 deals in 2010 representing $63 billion in AUM, with an average deal AUM size of $895 million.

“Market volatility and economic uncertainty led to a decline in M&A activity in the second half of the year,” said Nick Georgis, vice president of Schwab Advisor Services. “RIAs remain the dominant buyer category, but we observed a measurable increase in the number of transactions completed by banks.”

Of the 57 deals tracked by Schwab in 2011, 58% percent of deals represented less than $500 million in assets under management, 33% percent of deals were between $500 million and $2 billion, and 9% percent of deals were greater than $2 billion.

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’s Transition Planning Resources for RIAs

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

Schwab Advisor Transition Services include Schwab's recently updated Mergers & Acquisitions Listing Service, an online database offered to advisors that custody with Schwab. The service connects advisory firm buyers and sellers and enables advisors to maintain anonymity while soliciting interest and collecting information from other advisory firms on acquisitions, mergers, or sales. Buyers can also 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

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.6 million client brokerage accounts, 1.49 million corporate retirement plan participants, 780,000 banking accounts, and $1.68 trillion in client assets as of December 31, 2011. 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; 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 banking and mortgage services and products. More information is available at and (0112-0419)

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* Total AUM for 2011 is based upon verifiable data from 55 deals.

All data compiled and analyzed by Schwab Advisor Services. Data reflects firms being sold with assets under management exceeding $100 million between 1/1/11 through 12/31/11.

1The 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 list 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.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:


Charles Schwab
Anita Fox, 415-667-1308
Jacqueline Broder, 212-508-9646

Multimedia Files:

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Percentage of M&A Transactions by Buyer Type (as of December 31, 2011) (Graphic: Business Wire)
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Industry-wide M&A Transactions (as of December 31, 2011) (Graphic: Business Wire)
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M&A Transactions by Deal Size (as of December 31, 2011) (Graphic: Business Wire)

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