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Bressler, Amery & Ross said Wednesday that the law firm has formed an Investment Advisory Practice Group to serve registered investment advisors.

The practice — which will serve “the growing needs” of federally registered and state-registered advisors in the U.S. and U.S.-regulated advisors abroad — is led by co-chairs Kerry Zinn, a principal in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, office and Mark Knoll, managing principal of the firm’s New York office.

“Adding a dedicated investment advisory practice is a logical next step for Bressler,” said Zinn, in a Wednesday statement. “A significant number of our attorneys already represent members of the financial services industry and are well versed in capital market issues and regulation and some are former industry regulators.”

As Bressler already represents investment advisors, “we are poised to seamlessly expand in that space,” Zinn said.

The RIA sector “is on the upswing,” with RIAs managing over $80 trillion in assets, Zinn said. She cited the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s 2018 report showing that the retail financial services industry is shifting away from the broker-dealer model.

From 2008-2017, the number of standalone broker-dealers declined by 21%, FINRA reported. “Dual registrants registered as both broker-dealers and federal covered IAs declined by 35.9%. During that same time period, the total number of IAs increased by 22.6%,” Zinn said.

Bressler’s clients include small, medium and large retail advisory firms, family offices, fund advisors and asset managers.

“We are strategically focused on expanding our capabilities in an effort to better serve clients’ needs,” added Knoll. “With the increase in assets under management by investment advisers, we have assembled a multidisciplinary team of attorneys to help steer clients through the highly regulated and complex body of law.”