Registered investment advisors that have invested in development of a younger group of professionals are growing faster than firms that have yet to do so, TD Ameritrade reported Wednesday.

RIAs that employed younger advisors experienced a 20% annual increase in their assets between 2012 and 2014, compared with 11% among firms that did not.

The study showed that 45% of financial advisors are between 50 and 69 years old, while only 21% of advisors are younger than 40. TD Ameritrade said this means that retiring baby boomers will depart the industry much faster than they can be replaced.

Yet only a small number of firms have actually invested in the next generation.

“Hiring young advisors today and helping them grow as professionals can help RIA firms in the years to come,” Kate Healy, marketing manager at TD Ameritrade Institutional, said in a statement.

“We believe that developing young talent can help RIAs generate and sustain higher, long-term growth as well as let them build greater enterprise value for their firms.”

The new research showed that younger advisors can contribute to faster growth rates. Partners and principals at RIAs can delegate more work to staffers, allowing them time to cultivate new business and serve top clients.

The study found that two-thirds of firms that generate at least $5 million in annual revenue employed at least one younger advisor. These also averaged some 20% higher income per owner than firms that did not have a next-generation employee.

“We as an industry should be doing everything we can, right now, to develop new talent and ensure RIAs remain well positioned to serve investors for decades to come,” said Healy. “But fostering the next generation is more than just a demographic challenge for the industry: it should be part of every RIA’s growth strategy.”

TD Ameritrade reported its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday.