Schwab Advisor Services Reports Independent RIA Mergers and Acquisitions Activity for First Quarter of 2011

RIAs continue to be most common buyers—acquiring more than 50% of sellers

Thursday, April 28, 2011 6:00 am PDT



Public Company Information:

"The data reflects a strong first quarter and continued M&A momentum, off only slightly from the record set during 2010"

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schwab Advisor Services, a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for more than 6,000 independent registered investment advisory firms (RIAs), today released its industry-wide RIA mergers and acquisitions transaction quarterly information, reflecting a total of 23 M&A transactions involving RIAs in the first quarter of 2011 (Q1), slightly down from the 25 deals reported in Q1 of 2010.

“The data reflects a strong first quarter and continued M&A momentum, off only slightly from the record set during 2010,” said David DeVoe, managing director of strategic business development for Schwab Advisor Services. “The continued growth of the equity markets and the overall RIA industry helped create fertile ground for mergers and acquisitions in Q1. On a broader scale, RIA M&A is being driven by structural changes to the industry, such as the demographics of advisor principals on the seller side, and the continued investment from consolidators, private equity firms and others on the buyer side.”

The 23 total RIA transactions sold in first quarter 2011 represent approximately $20 billion in total assets under management. Of the 23 transactions, RIA firms were the most dominant acquirer category, accounting for more than 50 percent of acquisitions, a trend that has continued since 2009. The number of acquisitions by RIAs underscores their growing sophistication and reflects efforts to use M&A as a way to achieve business goals and objectives.

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 includes Schwab's 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.

In addition to the Mergers & Acquisitions Listing Service, the program includes:

  • Educational events – Workshops and webcasts led by industry experts1 covering strategic, valuation, organizational, legal and tax issues involved in succession planning, and acquiring and selling an independent investment advisory business.
  • Access to experts1 - Independent consultants, investment bankers, lawyers and accountants who have experience working with investment advisors on succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, and valuation.
  • Educational content – Articles and whitepapers including best practices and insights on valuation methods, legal considerations, succession planning, and mergers and acquisition case studies.

Additional information is available at www.SchwabTransition.com2

About Charles Schwab

The Charles Schwab Corporation (NYSE:SCHW) is a leading provider of financial services, with more than 300 offices and 8.1 million client brokerage accounts, 1.44 million corporate retirement plan participants, 719,000 banking accounts, and $1.65 trillion in client assets as of Mar. 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. Independent investment advisors are not owned, affiliated with or supervised by Schwab. 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 (0511-2909)

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* All data compiled and analyzed by Schwab Advisor Services Strategic Business Development. Data reflects firms being sold with assets under management exceeding $100 million between 1/1/10 and 12/31/10. Other acquirer categories include insurance companies, independent broker dealers and banks.

1 Some of the above services are provided by third-party firms who are not affiliated with nor employees of Schwab.

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


Charles Schwab
Jennifer Davis, 415-667-0181

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