U.S. Registered Investment Advisor Landscape: A Market Monitor

The 12 fee-only firms within the top 25 RIAs grew AUM significantly faster than the 13 hybrid firms in 2020.

Boston, October 5, 2021 – Over the past decade, registered investment advisors have emerged as formidable competitors in the wealth management marketplace and have grown faster than any other type of wealth management firm. Yet because there are so many RIAs (more than 5,000 compete in the wealth market), it can be challenging to understand the different business models employed by RIAs and how they affect firms’ ability to participate in different segments of the wealth market.

This report evaluates the RIA market by business model and by size of firm to provide readers with a clear picture of the dynamics of the RIA market. This study is based on an analysis of RIAs’ annual Form ADV filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for calendar years 2019 and 2020, focusing on two types of firms: independent RIAs and hybrid RIAs. In addition, the study utilizes data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances to fill in missing data about the retail market and to develop market-sizing estimates.

This 32-page Impact Report contains 21 figures and one table. Clients of Aite-Novarica Group’s Wealth Management service can download this report, the corresponding charts, and the Executive Impact Deck.

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