NYT DealBook, April 8, 2010.
The first instances of consolidation among financial services firms began in earnest during the height of the financial crisis, when Bank of America purchased Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital acquired the bulk of the failed Lehman Brothers.
More than two years later, financial services firms are still expected to partake in mergers and acquisitions, according to a report released Thursday by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Bank auctions by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, consolidation among asset management firms and possibly some deals among insurers are all expected to take place over the rest of 2010, the accounting firm said.
Already, two of the biggest deals of the year were in the financial space: the sales of two international units of the American International Group, as the insurer trudges toward recovery after its near-collapse during the financial crisis.
“We believe the current market presents a significant number of potential opportunities in the banking, asset management and insurance sectors for investors that have the liquidity and capital strength to be acquisitive and the infrastructure and capabilities to realize potential synergies,” Gary Tillett, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ financial services leader, transaction services, said in a statement.
The report cites several factors for continued deal-making among financial players. While the economy has recovered, some firms — like banks and property and casualty insurance providers — may continue to struggle with returning to big profits. And asset managers may still face pricing pressures.
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