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In 2014, there were 357 announced agent-broker M&A transactions, an increase of more than 30% from the previous year and more than 10% higher than in 2012. Notwithstanding an extremely vibrant buy-side community, is it logical to assume that sellers are primarily motivated to capitalize on the value of one of their portfolio’s largest assets and take their proverbial chips off the table at top-of-the-market values?

The answer is a quiet and subtle no. Lost in all of the hoopla over the extremely active M&A environment is the fact that the great majority of sell-side transactions occur due to many firms’ inability to perpetuate internally.

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