Financial institutions M&A: Sector trends - September 2021
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Financial institutions M&A: Asset/Wealth Management

Financial institutions M&A sector trends: asset/wealth management — H1 2021 and outlook for H2 2021

Market consolidation continues at a feverish pace. The UK tops the leader board, notching up 17 noteworthy deals in H1 2021.




  • Consistent activity levels


  • Market consolidation:
    • Middle-sized asset/wealth management deals (e.g., Amundi's acquisition of Lyxor)
    • Smaller asset/wealth management deals (e.g., Titan Wealth's acquisition of Tavistock Wealth and Global Prime Partners)
  • UK consolidates at a feverish pace—concentration of smaller deals (>17 smaller deals in H1 2021)
  • Banks adopt differing strategies:
    • Scaling-up operations (e.g., Aktia's acquisition of Taaleri's wealth management business)
    • Re-deploying capital resources (e.g., Crédit Agricole's disposal of Indosuez Wealth Management)
    • Focus on wealth concentrations in emerging economies
  • Specialist asset management sub-sector consolidation


  • COVID-19 plagues traditional models:
    • Increasing regulatory pressure—true burden of MiFID II implementation becomes increasingly stark (e.g., UK considers overhauling MiFID II)
    • Rising technology costs to combat growing reporting needs, AML risks and cyber-attack sophistication
    • Increasing fee compression as DIY options gain market prevalence
  • Scaling-up in specialist asset management:
    • Financial planning (e.g., Flexpoint Ford's acquisition of AFH Financial)
    • Fund platform (e.g., Euroclear's acquisition of MFEX Group)
    • Trust administration (e.g., Ocorian's acquisition of Nordic Trustee)
    • Credit fund (e.g., Cairn Capital's acquisition of Bybrook Capital)
    • Capital markets administration (e.g., Sanne Group's acquisition of Strait Capital)
  • Growing focus on WealthTech and robo-advisory:
    • Established players plan for the future
    • WealthTech players stockpile growth capital (e.g., Scalable Capital, Tifin, WealthArc, Elinvar and Wealthpilot all successfully raised capital in H1 2021)


  • Heating up of transatlantic consolidation activity (e.g., Ameriprise's acquisition of BMO's European asset management business)
  • Increasing ambition to tap public capital (e.g., Pensionbee's LSE IPO and Allfunds' Euronext Amsterdam IPO)
  • Growing investor appetite for ESG offerings



Market consolidation to continue at a feverish pace as smaller and medium-sized asset/wealth managers come under increasing pressure. Larger managers prepare for the future through increased focus on WealthTech.


Asset/Wealth Management—Publicly reported deals & situations

Market consolidation

Despite COVID-19, deal-making has raged on. Figures show that 2020 was a buoyant year for asset management M&A activity, with a record 122 deals taking place in the UK. Financial News (June 2021)

The UK's IFA space is tipped to see larger-scale M&A as well as some IPOs over the medium term as it continues to consolidate amid an influx of private capital. Mergermarket (April 2021)
Deal-hungry buyout groups are hunting across the investment industry, with Blackstone, KKR, General Atlantic, Stone Point and Thomas H Lee acquiring asset or wealth management businesses in the past 12 months. Financial Times (March 2021)

M&A across the investment industry almost tripled in 2020. Deals involving asset and wealth managers rose from US$13.6 billion in 2019 to US$38.9 billion in 2020. Financial Times (March 2021)

There were a record number of mergers and acquisitions in the asset management sector in 2020. Activists like Nelson Peltz and John Paulson are agitating for deals. Financial Times (January 2021)

Deal highlight:

White & Case advised Catella, a leading specialist in property investments and fund management in Europe, on the sale of a majority stake in Catella Asset Management to Arkéa Investment Services.

Deal highlight:

White & Case advised Sinara Financial on its acquisition of UK investment management business Elbrus Capital Partners.

Deal highlight:

White & Case advised the Meeschaert Group on the sale of its private banking and asset management activities to La Financière Patrimoniale d'Investissement.


  • Amundi (France): Acquisition of Lyxor (June 2021)
  • PineBridge Benson Elliot (UK): Acquisition of Sigma Capital Group (June 2021)
  • Altamar Capital (Germany): Acquisition of CAM Alternatives (June 2021)
  • LFPI (France): Acquisition of Meeschaert (April 2021)


  • Sinara Financial (UK): Acquisition of Elbrus Capital Partners (June 2021)
  • Vontobel (UK): Acquisition of remaining 40% of TwentyFour Asset Management (June 2021)
  • Rathbone Brothers (UK): Acquisition of Saunderson House Group (June 2021)
  • Tavistock Investments (UK): Acquisition of Chater Allan Financial Services' business (June 2021)
  • Titan Wealth Holdings (UK): 
    Acquisition of Tavistock Wealth (June 2021)
  • Titan Wealth Holdings (UK): 
    Acquisition of Global Prime Partners (June 2021)
  • JTC (UK): 
    Acquisition of INDOS Financial (June 2021)
  • Savills Investment Management (UK): 
    Acquisition of 75% stake of DRC Capital (May 2021)
  • Fairstone Group (UK): Acquisition of Sterling Asset Management (May 2021)
  • Avison Young (France): Acquisition of Cassian (May 2021)
  • Mattioli Woods (UK): Acquisition of Ludlow Wealth Management Group (May 2021)
  • Raymond James (UK): Acquisition of Cebile Capital (May 2021)
  • Alpha Financial (UK): Acquisition of Lionpoint Holdings (May 2021)
  • AssetCo (UK): Acquisition of Saracen Fund Managers (May 2021)
  • Commencer Capital (Australia): Acquisition of IEC Funds Management (May 2021)
  • Canaccord Genuity Group (UK): Acquisition of Adam & Co's private client investment management business (April 2021)
  • Azimut (Brazil): Acquisition of MZK Investimentos (March 2021)
  • Aktia (Finland): Acquisition of Taaleri's wealth management business (March 2021)
  • Preservation Capital (UK): Acquisition of Parmenion Capital Partners (March 2021)
  • Alantra (Spain): Acquisition of 40% of MCH Investment Strategies (March 2021)
  • VERSO Capital & ALDINI Capital (Luxembourg): Merger (February 2021)
  • Arkéa Investment Services (France): Acquisition of majority stake in Catella Asset Management (January 2021)
  • Carneo (Sweden): Acquisition of 70% of Holberg (January 2021)
  • RJAMI (France): Acquisition of 57% of Raymond James Asset Management International (January 2021)


Differing FI prerogatives

China's wealth market was worth US$18.9 trillion in 2020, up 10% from a year earlier. Foreign asset managers are rushing to capitalise on China's vast pool of savings as the government liberalises its tightly controlled financial system. Financial Times (May 2021)

Tag-out (disposals):

  • Société Générale (France): Disposal of Lyxor (June 2021)
  • Millennium BCP (Switzerland): Disposal of Swiss private banking arm (June 2021)
  • Commercial Bank Modulbank (Russia): Disposal of Vostochny Capital (May 2021)
  • HSBC (Saudi Arabia): Disposal of Saudi Arabian asset management business (May 2021)
  • Banca Agricola Popolare di Ragusa (Italy): Disposal of Finanza Sud Sim (May 2021)
  • Crédit Agricole (Brazil): Disposal of Crédit Agricole's Brazilian wealth management business (April 2021)
  • NatWest (UK): Disposal of Adam & Co's private client investment management business (April 2021)
  • Crédit Agricole (US): Disposal of Indosuez Wealth Management (March 2021)
  • Taaleri (Finland): Disposal of Finnish wealth management business (March 2021)
  • Standard Life Aberdeen (UK): Disposal of Parmenion Capital Partners (March 2021)
  • Natixis (UK): Disposal of majority stake in H2O (January 2021)

Tag-in (acquisitions):

  • Union Bancaire Privée (Switzerland): Acquisition of Millennium BCP's Swiss private banking business (June 2021)
  • Sovcombank (Russia): Acquisition of Vostochny Capital (May 2021)
  • The Saudi British Bank (Saudi Arabia): Acquisition of HSBC Saudi Arabia's asset management business (May 2021)
  • Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy): Acquisition of Finanza Sud Sim (May 2021)
  • Banco Safra (Brazil): Acquisition of Crédit Agricole's Brazilian wealth management business (April 2021)
  • UBS (Brazil): Acquisition of 40% of Consenso (April 2021)
  • Santander (US): Acquisition of Indosuez Wealth Management (March 2021)
  • Aktia (Finland): Acquisition of Taaleri's wealth management business (March 2021


Financial planning M&A

  • Flexpoint Ford: Acquisition of AFH Financial (June 2021)
  • Oreana Group: Acquisition of Grant Thornton's Australian private wealth business (April 2021)


Fund platform M&A

  • Deutsche Börse: Acquisition of 48.8% of Clearstream Fund Centre (May 2021)
  • Euroclear: Acquisition of MFEX Group (March 2021)
  • HPS Investment Partners: Acquisition of Bardin Hill's European CLO business (March 2021)
  • ACOLIN: Acquisition of Fundbase (February 2021)


Trust administration M&A

Deal highlight:

White & Case advised Ocorian, the Inflexion-backed global trust and administration business, on the financing and management incentive programme of its acquisition of Nordic Trustee.

  • Ocorian: Acquisition of Nordic Trustee (June 2021)
  • Mattioli Woods: Acquisition of Exempt Property Unit Trust (January 2021)


Credit fund M&A

  • Cairn Capital Group: Acquisition of Bybrook Capital (February 2021)
  • GetBack: Acquisition of Dogmat Systemy (January 2021)


CapMarkets/fund administration services M&A:

Deal highlight:

White & Case advised Ocorian, the Inflexion-backed global trust and administration business, on the financing and management incentive programme of its acquisition of Emphasys Technologies.

  • Sanne Group: Acquisition of Strait Capital (April 2021)
  • ZEDRA: Acquisition of BFCS (March 2021)
  • Ocorian: Acquisition of Emphasys Technologies (March 2021)


High investor appetite

Financial sponsors (acquisitions):

  • GTCR and Reverence Capital: Acquisition of Wells Fargo’s asset management division (February 2021)

Financial sponsors (equity investments):

  • Sovereign Capital Partners: £55 million investment in Skerritts (March 2021)
  • Vitruvian Partners: €100 million investment in Carne Group (January 2021)
  • ToscaFund Asset Management: Participation in €25 million Series C funding round for Elinvar (January 2021)
  • Seventure: Participation in €8 million Series A funding round for Wealthpilot (January 2021)

Foreign investors:

  • Ameriprise Financial: Acquisition of BMO Financial Group’s European asset management business (April 2021)
  • Nuveen: Acquisition of Glenmont Partners (January 2021)

Market appetite:

  • Pensionbee: London Stock Exchange IPO (April 2021)
  • Allfunds: Euronext Amsterdam IPO (April 2021)


  • Aegon: Acquisition of Pension Geeks (April 2021)
  • Utmost Group: Acquisition of Quilter International (April 2021)


Digitalisation marches on

Nutmeg surpassed £3 billion in AuM following a record 72% year-on-year growth. Finextra (April 2021)

Traditional wealth managers have been among the slowest parts of the finance industry to embrace fintech, with their ultra-wealthy clients preferring the personal touch of silver-service chatbot financial advice. Financial Times (January 2021)

Established players plan for the future:

  • Alter Domus: Acquisition of Investors Economic Assurance (June 2021)
  • Azimut Holding: Acquisition of Epic’s fintech and alternative finance structuring division (February 2021)

WealthTechs stockpile growth capital:

  • Scalable Capital: Successful €150 million Series E funding round, led by Tencent (June 2021)
  • WealthArc: Successful US$4 million Seed funding round, led by The Next Impact (February 2021)
  • Elinvar: Successful €25 million Series C funding round, led by ToscaFund Asset Management (January 2021)
  • Wealthpilot: Successful €8 million Series A funding round, led by Seventure (January 2021)


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Financial institutions M&A: Sector trends


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