The last twelve months have marked a banner period for Asset and Wealth Management deal making. Deal volume hit a high-water mark relative to the past few years. Similarly, the value of announced deals hit $53.4bn, a new record. Morgan Stanley was behind two of the largest deals this year: the $13.1 billion acquisition of E*TRADE Financial Corp. and a proposed $6.8 billion acquisition of investment manager Eaton Vance. But smaller-scale consolidation across the industry was also robust. In all, we saw 220 announced deals during the period, up slightly from the 212 announced deals in 2019.
PwC's Deals Sector Leader John Potter discusses the trends driving deals and outlook for 2021.
PwC's Deals Sector Leader John Potter discusses the trends driving deals and outlook for 2021. Explore national deals trends.
We expect the strong pace of deal activity to continue into 2021. However, the impetus for transactions has already begun to shift. Many deals in 2020 were led by more traditional drivers of cost cutting and economies of scale, as firms looked for ways to cope with fee compression. Looking forward, we see more desire by some to expand capabilities, products and distribution. This, along with middle-market companies that may struggle to differentiate themselves in a crowded market, could be a prelude to future AWM dealmaking.
“After a year of record-breaking deals volume, we expect continued high intensity deal activity in the year to come.”
Asset and Wealth Management Deals Leader, PwC US
Principal, Financial Services, Strategy&, PwC US