Merger and acquisition activity in the global wealth management industry rose in 2013, while valuations slid, leading to suggestions they could soon hit a floor.
More than 60 deals took place this year, and the UK was the most active participant, with 25 deals involving independent financial advisory (IFA) business models.
But valuations were down, according to information compiled by wealth management consultantsScorpio Partnership, which estimated that the average price relative to assets under management had fallen to 1.22%.
'The M&A tempo has reached a new level. Most deals appear to be pursuing scale with the cost of doing business surging for many while the income levels are still under pressure,' said Sebastian Dovey, managing partner at the company.
'Notably, with valuations falling to a record low, we have seen more private equity firms taking active stakes in the market.'
Dovey added that the research raised the question of how much further valuations could fall.
'Our view is that 1.22% may be running close to the baseline with some higher quality deals still securing a premium,' he argued.