Today's Viewpoint: A MarshBerry Publication

January Kicks Off Wealth Advisory M&A Activity For 2024 On The Right Foot

The momentum of M&A activity in the wealth advisory space from 2023 carried over into 2024 with a strong showing in January.

Driven by private capital-backed wealth management firms and insurance brokerage buyers – January delivered 27 announced merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions in the U.S. While there was a slight lag from December’s transactions, this month saw the most activity from a non-December month since March 2023. January 2024’s total represents an 8% increase compared with January 2023, when 25 transactions were reported.

Private capital-backed buyers accounted for 21 of the 27 transactions (77.8%) through January, representing a 22% increase since 2020 when private capital-backed buyers accounted for 55.4% of all transactions. Independent firms accounted for six deals and 22.2% of the market, a slight uptick from 2023’s final percentage of 21.5% on 59 total independent deals. Insurance brokerages acquired eight wealth management and retirement firms in January, representing 29.6% of the total market. All eight acquired businesses contained wealth management practices, with five of them being wealth and retirement hybrids.

Deal activity from the marketplace’s most active acquirers has remained strong in the beginning of 2024. Ten buyers accounted for 70.4% of all announced transactions, while the top three (DFPG Investments, MAI Capital Management, and Constellation Wealth Advisors) account for 29.6% of the 27 total transactions.

Notable transactions:

  • January 9: Hightower announced a strategic investment in Capital Management Group of New York (CMG), a wealth management firm with $3.3 billion in assets. This marks Hightower’s first deal of 2024 following 12 transactions in 2023. CMG, known for its holistic approach to wealth management, joins Hightower after being affiliated with an independent broker-dealer. Hightower aims to support CMG’s growth by offering enhanced capabilities and resources, including access to its network of advisors and value-added services such as tax planning and preparation.
  • January 31: OneDigital Investment Advisors, a wholly owned subsidiary of OneDigital, a prominent firm in insurance brokerage, financial services, and HR consulting, announced the acquisition of WealthSource Partners. WealthSource specializes in comprehensive financial planning, investment management and insurance solutions. The WealthSource team comprises 44 professionals spread across nine states including CA, AZ, UT, CO, OK, TX, OH, TN and FL. They will continue to serve approximately 2,000 client families. At the time of the transaction’s closure, WealthSource managed over $2.0 billion in wealth management advisory assets.

Looking forward

Following a slight downturn in M&A activity in 2023, MarshBerry is optimistic for a potentially record-breaking year in 2024. January has already seen robust activity in the M&A market with several factors driving this optimistic outlook. First, the upcoming election year raises concerns about regime changes and possible tax hikes, which may prompt advisors to seek strategic partnerships. Second, the expected stabilization of the rising rate environment and continued infusion of capital from private equity firms into RIAs are bolstering confidence. Lastly, an aging advisor base is increasingly considering finding strategic partners amidst uncertainty, viewing 2024 as an opportune time to do so. MarshBerry remains vigilant in monitoring these factors and their impact on M&A activity throughout 2024 and beyond.

Investment banking services in the USA offered through MarshBerry Capital, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC, and an affiliate of Marsh, Berry & Company, LLC, 28601 Chagrin Blvd, Suite 400, Woodmere, OH 44122 (440) 354-3230.

Contact John Orsini
If you have questions about Today's ViewPoint, or would like to learn more about how MarshBerry can help your firm determine its path forward, please email or call John Orsini, Director, at 440.220.4116.

Disclosure: All deal count metrics are inclusive of completed deals with U.S. targets only. Scorecard year-to-date totals may change from month to month should an acquirer notify MarshBerry or the public of a prior acquisition. 2023 statistics are preliminary and may change in future publications. Please feel free to send any announcements to M&
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence,, and other publicly available sources.

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