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Cerulli: RIAs take market share from wirehouses

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Registered investment advisors boosted their market share of assets of management in 2013, according to new research. Cerulli Associates discloses this finding in a third quarter 2014 report, “The Cerulli Edge: Advisor Edition.” The report examines the wirehouse channel, including advisor retention and investor relationships.

The report reveals that registered investment advisors secured 13 percent of assets under management in 2013, up from 12 percent in 2012. In comparison, the wirehouse channel’s market share dipped to 41 percent from 42 percent over the same period. AUM market share for other channels remained flat from 2012 to 2013, including that of dually registered advisors (9 percent).

“Cerulli has observed a trend of the big getting bigger,” the report states. “In what had been an uncertain market post-crisis, a key characteristic of the industry’s most successful advisory practices is a clearly articulated value proposition and marketing strategy. These advisors are taking business from other advisors and providers.

As Cerulli examines provider market share of high-net-worth (HNW) investors…we observe similar trends in play,” the report continues. The research adds that “fickle,” asset-preservation-oriented HNW investors are turning away from large financial institutions, thus accounting for the declining market share of the wirehouses.

The report observes also that about one-third of wirehouse advisors — in particular firms that manage more than $1 billion in assets — indicate a preference for the independence that registered investment advisors enjoy.

“[A]sset managers are left with a classic business and distribution conundrum as to whether they should invest resources in the eroding but dominant market share of the wirehouse channel or the growing RIA channel,” the report states. “This decision is made more challenging by the revenue-sharing that the largest wirehouses demand.”


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