In a low interest rate environment coupled with rising capital requirements, many banks are turning their attention to asset management firms and trust companies to improve ROE and diversify revenue. Although deal terms are rarely disclosed, the table below depicts some recent examples of this trend with pricing metrics where available.
While multiples for activity metrics (AUM and revenue) can be erratic and tend to vary with profitability, EBITDA multiples are often observed in the 10x-15x range for public RIAs with their private counterparts typically priced at a modest discount depending on risk considerations, such as customer concentrations and personnel dependencies.
Powered by a fairly steady market tailwind over the last few years, many asset managers and trust companies have more than doubled in value since the financial crisis and may finally be posturing towards some kind of exit opportunity to take advantage of this growth. Despite the richer valuations, banks and other financial institutions are starting to take notice for a multitude of reasons:
Still, there are often several overlooked deal considerations that banks and other interested parties should be apprised of prior to purchasing an asset manager or trust company. We’ve outlined our top three considerations when looking to purchase these kinds of businesses in today’s environment:
Perhaps because of these considerations, it is estimated that less than 1% of the 11,000 RIAs and independent trust companies transact in a given year. Still, with an aging ownership demographic and uniquely attractive business model to many prospective buyers, it is reasonable to assume that more asset managers and trust companies will transact in the coming years.
Mercer Capital provides asset management, trust companies, and investment consultants with corporate valuation, financial reporting valuation, transaction advisory, portfolio valuation, and related services. For more information, please contact us.
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