June 1, 2011

Top Wealth Managers: Clients, Revenues and Assets Up

AdvisorOne’s Top Wealth Managers Annual Survey indicates a positive prognosis for independent RIAs

Assets, revenues and clients are indicating that the pall on advice to investors seems to have lifted in 2010, according to preliminary results from the latest AdvisorOne Top Wealth Managers Annual Survey, conducted in April and May for the year ended Dec. 31, 2010.

Registered investment advisors (RIAs) that completed the Top Wealth Managers Survey for the full year 2010 reported growth in assets, revenues and clients, indicating that the health of the advisory industry--and independent RIA firms in particular--has rebounded.

Though the results are preliminary, these findings are important as they show a return to growth. Could these “green shoots” indicate a long-term trend?

More than 84% of the independent RIA firms that completed the survey in 2009 and 2010 reported growth in the number of clients. While a small number of firms held the same number of client relationships, those whose client base was smaller may suggest they they pruned smaller clients while moving to a higher minimum or that advisors left, taking clients and assets with them.

More Assets and Revenue

A first-blush look at revenue for firms with a lower number of clients in 2010 than in 2009 indicates that some, despite a lower number of clients, had more in assets and revenue—perhaps buoyed by a boost in the markets or enhanced productivity.

AdvisorOne Top Wealth Manager survey partner Philip Palaveev, president of Fusion Advisor Network, a membership organization that provides business management consulting to some of the leading independent advisory firms in the U.S., will provide his in-depth special report on the Top Wealth Managers over the coming weeks. 

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