RIAs’ ETF and Mutual Fund Assets Rose 12% in First Half

Report says RIA channel outpaced all other retail channels for first time

Registered investment advisors increased long-term mutual fund and exchange-traded fund assets under management by more than 12% in the first half of 2014, Access Data reported Friday.

Access Data, a Broadridge Financial Solutions company, said this was the first time the RIA channel had grown faster on a percentage basis than all other retail channels, including independent broker-dealers.

The RIA channel accounted for $1.8 billion in long-term mutual fund and ETF assets under management in the first half, up nearly $200 billion over the end of 2013.

“As investors continue to gravitate toward independent advice models, we expect to see sustained growth in the RIA channel,” Frank Polefrone, an Access Data senior vice president, said in a statement.

“For the first half of 2014, the RIA channel had the largest increase in absolute dollars for both ETFs and long-term mutual funds across all channels.”

Broadridge reported these other key findings gathered by its Fund Distribution Intelligence tool:

  • Total third-party long-term mutual fund and ETF assets under management in the first half increased to $9.3 trillion from $8.5 trillion at the end of 2013
  • The retail channels — RIAs, IBDs, wirehouse broker-dealers and discount brokers — had combined assets under management of some $6 trillion, or 64% of all third-party distribution of long-term mutual funds and ETF assets.

In February, Broadridge issued a report that highlighted the opportunities that the RIA channel presents for fund firms.

“By understanding the unique characteristics of these firms in terms of product usage, the client base they serve, and their general investment philosophies, funds can better position their products and grow assets,” Polefrone said.

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