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Q&A with Schulte Roth and Zabel's Jim McNally, investment management and M&A partner, based in the firm's London office

THFJ: What factors are driving high levels of merger and acquisition activity amongst, and between, alternative asset managers, hedge fund managers and traditional asset managers?

McNally: There are a number of factors at play. Certainly one factor in Europe is the ever increasing costs of doing business, and managers are looking to gain economies of scale in terms of operational infrastructure. Firms which were established, say, a decade ago have seen great turmoil in the financial markets and a more than healthy increase in the complexity of financial and non-financial regulation, and the principals of some of those firms are thinking about succession planning. That's a backdrop against which overtures for M&A activity in this sector can be well received.

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