Ron Carson Ron Carson

Carson Group announced its most successful three-month growth period in company history.

Building on what turned out to be a record-breaking 2017, the firm announced Q1 2018 results that indicated the firm was on track to surpass last year’s momentous growth.

“Last year, we raised $1.53 billion in assets — which by most measures people go, ‘wow that was a good year,’” Ron Carson, CEO and founder of Carson Group, told ThinkAdvisor. “So far this year, in the first quarter, we have committed assets — when I say committed these are contractually obligated — $2 billion in assets in the first quarter.”

From January through the beginning of April, 17 new partner firms joined Carson Group, adding more than $2 billion in committed assets. These firms represent 29 new advisors and 18 new locations, adding to what is now a total of 74 Carson Group partner firms in 95 locations across the U.S.

In addition to the $2 billion committed in the first quarter, Carson told ThinkAdvisor, the firm already has another $1 billion in deals he expects to close in the second quarter.

“So we fully expect to be $3-plus billion at the end of the first six months [of 2018], which is validation of what we built and what we’re doing,” Carson said.

In January, the Carson Group said it could add as much as $3 billion in new assets under advisement in 2018 by bringing in new partner firms, but the firm will likely meet that by midyear.

The firm says that highly engaged partner firms also saw accelerated growth in assets, averaging an uptick of 41.29% over the last year.

Its technology platform was also a major driver of the organization’s first-quarter growth. According to Carson Group, its Digital Client Experience is generating nearly 100 web-based leads per week for partner firms overall, 30 per week of which are specifically generated by the platform’s online Risk Tolerance Quiz. Since the technology’s launch in 2017, 1,991 new leads were generated and more than $218 million in new account assets under management has been realized.

Elsewhere in the business, Carson Group Coaching saw strong growth in the first quarter, onboarding 35 new advisor firms to its coaching and content platform — a community that now includes 1,243 firms in the U.S. and Canada.

To support the firmwide growth, Carson Group plans to add more than 50 new positions in nearly every department throughout 2018, having already hired 17 new stakeholders — what the firm calls its employees — since January.

Expansion of the team has been spurred by the committed $3 billion in assets to transition over the first and second quarters, pushing the firm toward $8.5 billion in AUM and projected $17 billion AUA by year-end.

According to Aaron Schaben, executive vice president of Carson Group, the firm’s “ability to quickly adapt alongside our advisors and roll out new solutions in a matter of months makes us particularly compelling in the marketplace, and has translated to rapid growth in 2018.

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