Jefferies Putnam Lovell Report Predicts “Winds of Change” in Asset Management M&A

In August 2009, Jefferies Putnam Lovell, the investment banking group of Jefferies & Company, Inc., published a strategic analysis of asset management industry activity entitled “Winds of Change: First-Half 2009 M&A Activity in the Global Asset Management, Broker/Dealer, and Financial Technology Industries.”  According to this report, strategic expansion purchases will overtake survival as the main catalyst of Wall Street’s merger and acquisition (M&A) business for asset management companies over the coming year as the economy resurges.  After describing the overall decrease in deal activity during the first half of 2009, the report projects that overall deal volumes will pick up over the coming year as confidence grows that the economic crisis has passed and as divestitures continue to drive deal activity.  The report foretells that sellers’ motivations over the coming year will be driven by factors other than just a need to raise capital, including product diversification and liquidity for retiring owners.  Most notably, the report also suggests that private equity buyers, including hedge funds, will return to the business of acquiring companies even in industries that have been hit hard by the recession.  This article summarizes the most salient findings of the report and its implications for the hedge fund community.

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