The number of registered investment advisors (RIAs) in the U.S. is growing, as are the number of clients they serve and assets they manage. According to an annual report published jointly by the Investment Advisor Association and National Regulatory Services, there were 13,494 RIAs in 2020 – about 11% more than there were in 2017 (12,172). Last year, those financial advisor firms reported a total of 42.1 million clients and $97.2 trillion in regulatory assets under management (AUM) – roughly 18% and 37% more, respectively, than the number of clients and assets reported three years prior.
READ ALSO: Here are the richest people in Arizona
Though there has been growth across the industry, some advisors have expanded their practices more quickly than others. In this study, we identified the 50 fastest-growing RIAs in the U.S. Eliminating firms that took part in mergers or acquisitions – to isolate organic growth – we compared financial advisors across four metrics: one- and three-year percentage change in number of client accounts and one- and three-year percentage change in AUM. Our Data and Methodology section below has more details on advisory firm selection criteria and how we used the data to assemble our final rankings.
• Younger firms take the lead. Six of the top 10 fastest-growing financial advisory firms were founded within the past decade: Integrated Wealth Concepts, LLC; Mutual Advisors, LLC; Integrated Advisors Network LLC; Visionary Wealth Advisors, LLC; AJ Wealth; and Financial Dimensions Group, Inc. The most recently formed among those is our top-ranking firm – Integrated Wealth Concepts, LLC – which was founded in 2016.
• Growth is slower among advisory firms in the South. Only four of the top 50 fastest-growing financial advisors in our study are in the South, according to Census regional divisions. In fact, none of the top 10 fastest-growing financial advisors is headquartered in the South. Heritage Wealth Advisors, the highest-ranking Southern firm, claims 19th place on our list and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.
• Two family offices appear in our top 50. Oakmont Corporation – ranking third – and Dyson Capital Advisors, LLC – ranking 21st – are both family offices. Though each firm had fewer than 100 client accounts as of its most recent Form ADV filing in December 2020, the total number of accounts at both offices grew by upwards of 80% during the previous three years. Additionally, from 2017 to 2020, AUM at Oakmont Corporation and Dyson Capital Advisors grew by about 142% and 82%, respectively.
Belpointe Asset Management, LLC in Phoenix had the 18th-largest 2017-2020 change in number of client accounts (259.87%) and seventh-highest 2017-2020 increase in AUM (178.53%). Belpointe Asset Management also ranks in the top 30 financial advisors for its one-year percentage change in the number of client accounts. According to the Form ADV filings, the number of client accounts grew from about 6,200 to more than 9,600 between December 2019 and December 2020.
Data and Methodology
To put together our report, we began by identifying all firms that are registered with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and headquartered in the U.S. All SEC-registered firms are legally required to abide by fiduciary duty and must report essential information about their business to the SEC.
To refine our list further, we removed any firms that have disclosures on their Form ADV, as well as firms that do not offer financial planning services or do not serve individual investors. We additionally eliminated firms with less than $500 million in assets under management as of their December 2017 SEC filing. Finally, to isolate organic growth, we eliminated firms who took part in mergers and acquisitions during the time frame by cross referencing Fidelity’s annual M&A reports and through our own research and due diligence.