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Dually registered advisors saw fastest asset growth

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Dually registered advisors enjoyed greater growth in assets under management than any other advisor-led distribution channel, new research reveals.

Cerulli Associates disclosed this finding in its latest report, “Advisor Metrics 2012: Behaviors, Preferences, and Channel Movement.” The report explores various facets of advisors’ businesses, including client and broker/dealer relationships, practice types and movement within the industry.

Dually registered advisors—SEC-registered RIAs who are also FINRA-registered independent broker-dealers—saw their channel’s assets under management grow by 19.1 percent in 2012, the report shows. By contrast, AUM of RIA-only advisors grew by 14.7 percent.

Cerulli projects that dually registered advisors will growth their market share of assets to 10.3 percent by 2014, up from an estimated 9.5 percent in 2013 and 8.7 percent in 2012. The gain in market share between 2011 and 2014 (2.4 percent) is exceeded only by the regional channel at 3.5 percent.

Cerulli projects that other channels over the three-year period will experience the following gain or loss: wirehouses, down 6.9 percent; registered investment advisors, up 2.2 percent; independent broker-dealers, down 1.5 percent; bank broker-dealers, up 0.1 percent; and insurance broker-dealers, down 0.4 percent.

Cerulli Analyst Sean Daly finds that more advisors are electing to become dually registered because of their ability to “diversify their revenue source, retain access to commission-based product, and to maintain connection with broker/dealer support services.”

More than six in 10 (60.8 percent) of RIAs and dually registered advisors polled say they expect their “practice revenue to increase as more clients seek retirement income advice.” Additionally, more than one-third (34.7 percent) of RIAs and dually registered advisors say they expect to use a wider range of investment vehicles to meet clients’ retirement income needs.

Also, more than four in 10 of these advisors (41.9 percent) expect to add clients to compensate for their declining asset base.