Mergers and acquisitions among investment advisor firms have decreased dramatically this year, which should surprise no one. But the more telling statistic is the precipitous drop in the value of the deals - down 83% this year from record levels in 2000.

An analysis of deal numbers and values over the past five years reveals an M&A marketplace that went into a tailspin after the markets began their downward slide in 2000. In 1999, there were 62 M&A deals announced between investment advisors, according to SNL Securities of Charlottesville, Va. Although the number of deals was fewer than the 78 mergers and acquisitions among investment advisors in 1998, the deals in 1999 were bigger, averaging $108 million versus $27 million in 1998.

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