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A Market Update from James Fisher, JD - FPT M&A Playbook

In this episode of the FP Transitions M&A Playbook, James Fisher, JD, VP of M&A, shares a timely update of M&A activity and trends.I’m constantly asked about the status of the M&A marketplace in the wealth management space, especially given the overall economic volatility and the increase in interest rates we've seen in 2023. I wanted to provide you with my perspective as we sit here in early Q2 of 2023.

First off, FP had its best quarter yet in terms of M&A activity in Q1 of 2023. And from my perspective, I do not see the demand for M&A – at least in the sub billion dollar AUM space–decreasing. In fact, we are still receiving 50 to 80 inquiries on average for every M&A offering that we publicly post here at FP.

With that said, I do think the overall economic volatility and increasing interest rates have caused acquiring firms to be more selective in their search for partner firms, which I think is a good thing. In my opinion, there were too many firms caught up in the M&A frenzy that occurred over the last couple of years because they had a fear of missing out. You should never acquire or merge with another firm without having a developed strategy in terms of what the ideal partner looks like for your firm. This is why at FP, we focus on alignment and fit first before deal terms are discussed.

I also think the current state of the economy requires a bit of creativity in terms of deal structure. We have a lot of tools in our tool chest here at FP that we can deploy to help folks get a deal in place that works for both the acquire or an acquire

In summary, while I do see some pressure in terms of demand on the larger firms, specifically in the billion dollar plus AUM space looking for a partner firm, I have not seen a decrease in demand or the multiples in the main street marketplace and firms that are less than a billion dollars in AUM.”

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss how FP can assist you in sourcing that ideal acquisition or merger partner for your firm, give us a call at 800.934.3303


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