Registered investment advisory firms drove merger and acquisition activity in 2018, accounting for 87 of 95 transactions in the independent wealth management space, according to Fidelity's 2018 Wealth Management M&A Transaction Report.

The 95 deals, including those in the independent broker dealer space, accounted for $563.4 billion in transactions. The total number of deals was down 13 percent from 2017, but the transacted assets more than doubled.

Of the RIA transactions, 23 were worth more than $1 billion, accounting for 26 percent of the deals and 76 percent of the assets transacted—figures that point to an onset of increasingly larger transactions in the RIA space, according to the report.

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