The stock market's steep decline in 2008, combined with one of the worst recessions in decades, resulted in fewer mergers and acquisitions among registered investment advisory firms last year, according to the latest data from Charles Schwab Corp.

Seventy-one deals, representing $103 billion of assets under management, were completed in 2009. In 2008 there were 88 deals representing $137 billion of assets under management. The average deal size last year remained just under $1.5 billion.

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