The Financial Times based on an industry report by investment bank Sandler O’Neill reports that mergers and acquisitions in the fund industry has reached levels not seen since 2007. “Asset management transaction activity surged in 2018 with 253 announced transactions, setting a new record by surpassing the previous high of 243 in 2007 and 210 in 2017,” the Sandler O’Neill report said. The report attributed the M&A activity to a positive U.S. economic backdrop and strong equity market performance prior to the fourth quarter. Overall, 2018 M&A activity represented $3.7 trillion in transacted assets under management, up 29% and 43% from 2017 and 2016, respectively, according to the report. Among the five largest announced M&A transactions, as measured by disclosed deal value: Invesco’s acquisition of OppenheimerFunds from MassMutual ($5.7 billion); Hellman & Friedman’s acquisition of Financial Engines ($3.0 billion); and Victory Capital’s acquisition of USAA Asset Management Company (Up to $1.0 billion).