PricewaterhouseCoopers Study Describes Recent Trends in and Outlook for Asset Manager Mergers and Acquisitions

In February 2012, the Asset Management Division of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP released a report entitled “Asset Management M&A Insights: The Way Forward” (Report).  The Report is a compilation of white papers and survey results designed to “provide perspectives on the recent trends and outlook relating to asset management mergers and acquisition activity in the U.S. and major global markets.”  This article summarizes the key topics discussed in the Report, including: an analysis of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in the asset management arena in the U.S. in 2011; a forecast for U.S. M&A deal activity in 2012; analyses of M&A activity in Europe and Asia; an explanation of the important roles human capital issues play in mergers and acquisitions; and an explanation of the role of various accounting principles, including issues related to consolidation and valuation, in asset management M&A.  Overall, the Report concluded that, in 2011, completed deals were scarce and deal values were relatively low.  While there is no clear indicator that 2012 will be better, the Report points to various factors that may contribute to increased M&A activity in the asset management arena for 2012.  For a discussion of recent litigation involving M&A in the hedge fund arena, see “Federal Court Decision Addresses the Enforceability of an Earnout Provision in the Sale of a Hedge Fund Management Business,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 5, No. 10 (Mar. 8, 2012).

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