New data on mergers and acquisitions in the registered investment advisory market indicates that this year may set another record for such deals, despite the difficult financial market conditions, the subprime debacle, and tightened credit, according to a survey by Schwab Institutional.

The San Francisco unit of Charles Schwab Corp. said on Monday that, as of Sept. 5, there had been 49 M&A deals this year and more large financial institutions were showing interest in buying smaller registered investment advisers.

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