The financial technology mergers and acquisitions carousel continues to spin in 2015. Some of the most noteworthy deals in 2014 include SimCorp acquiring Equipos in February, Morningstar acquiring ByAllAccounts in April, Envestnet acquiring Placemark in July, and SS&C acquiring DST Global Solutions in December. This week was yet again full of announcements: Fidelity Investments has announced that it will acquire eMoney Advisor for a rumored US$250 million, and SS&C went public with the announcement that it is acquiring Advent Software for US$2.3 billion.
Since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, the winds of change have not let go of the wealth management industry. Mergers and acquisitions are one result of those changes. This week was yet again full of announcements. On the same day that SS&C announced its acquisition of Advent Software for US$2.3 billion, Fidelity Investments has announced that it will acquire eMoney Advisor for a rumored US$250 million. The latter deal is particularly interesting, as a financial services firm has acquired a technology vendor.
The wealth management industry in the United States has been reshaping ever since the start of the financial crisis eight years ago. This morning, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced that it will acquire City National for US$5.4 billion. This acquisition responds to several market trends that have played out in recent years:
The wirehouse space has always been about survival of the fittest, and the financial crisis has raised those stakes considerably for financial advisors. Given that wirehouse firms saw their profitability erode due to a crisis-related drop in total client assets paired with low trading volumes in recent quarters, leading advisory firms must focus on improving the production levels of their advisors in 2011.
Alois Pirker is the research director for Aite Group's Wealth Management practice, specializing in trends in the wealth management market. He has published extensively on topics including the registered investment advisor space, financial planning, separately managed accounts, and advisor-focused platforms and tools.