Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the US wealth management industry has reached record volumes in the first half of 2019, with 67 RIA transactions and six IBD transactions.

The findings are from Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions, which covered the period from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2019.

The 67 RIA transactions made in the first six months of 2019 represented $69.5bn in assets.

Compared to the previous year, the number of RIA transactions surged 49% while the number of assets transacted soared 55%.

The IBD transactions in the first half represented $391bn in assets.

The number of transactions and the number of assets transacted surged 50% and 213% year-on-year, respectively, for IBD.

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By GlobalData

In June alone, the industry reported 13 RIA transactions representing $9.9bn in AUM.

A year ago, the figures were five RIA transactions with $2.1bn in AUM.

Overall, 13 transactions were made in June. Apart from two, all these transactions were said to have been led by strategic acquirers.

Fidelity said: “For any six month period since Fidelity began tracking RIA M&A activity in 2016, the first half of 2019 saw record volumes of transacted AUM, number of deals and number of deals over $500 million and $1 billion.

“As transaction sizes, and therefore seller sizes, continue to rise, it suggests larger firms are looking for partners to help them grow their competitive advantages.”