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RIA Edge Research Study: Development By Style


May 13, 2022
growth by design

Registered financial investment consultants have actually seen their corner of the wealth management market really entered its own over the last years, as more consultants left brokerage companies to begin their own fiduciary practices or sign up with recognized RIAs– bringing with them countless customers and billions of dollars in possessions under management.

This motion has actually led not just to an increasing variety of RIAs, however to the considerable development of numerous recognized companies. M&A activity amongst the multiplying RIAs has actually been shattering records for numerous years now, with a couple of companies leading the charge and some finishing more than 15 deals in a single year.

And, according to the specialists, there’s no end in sight.

An inaugural RIA Edge research study of these development patterns, finished previously this year, clarifies a few of the numbers behind the market’s widespread development, the chauffeurs that are inspiring that development and how it is being accomplished– both inorganically and naturally. RIA Edge and Wealth Management IQ, with assistance from Thrivent Financial, gathered the information through an industry-wide study that consisted of 419 reacting companies and developed the very first of a series of reports highlighting the activity, anticipation and objectives of 3 (overlapping) sectors within the RIA area.

What they discovered is that continued development is anticipated throughout the market, with 94% of all RIAs anticipating to see development of more than 10% in 2022. With a mean awaited development rate of 29% throughout all RIAs and dually authorized companies, developed RIAs (categorized here as those with a minimum of $250 million AUM) anticipate to see possessions increase by 22% and broadening RIAs (those that have actually seen a minimum of 50% development because 2016) are expecting 34% year over year development.

These double-digit development rates are anticipated to be accomplished through the addition of skill and human capital, in addition to continuing M&A activity and financial investments in standard natural development techniques.


Skill acquisition and retention is a clear overarching top priority for all RIAs in 2022 and beyond– with 51% of all RIAs and dually authorized companies preparing to include brand-new full-time positions this year. This focus is especially strong amongst recognized RIAs, 84% of which are preparing to include brand-new full-time staff members. Junior consultants, paraplanners and operations/administrative functions became the most preferred additions. Lead advisory positions weren’t far behind, with 44% of recognized RIAs and 33% of all RIAs seeking to include somebody in this function.


” Lead consultants have actually been amongst the most hard to hire in the last few years due to their brief supply and the payment levels they can now command,” according to the report. “Larger RIAs tend to have a benefit in attracting this skill, due to their more comprehensive resources and capability to use competitive payment plans. It is still anticipated to be an extreme fight for lead consultants in 2022, an aspect that is playing an increased function in big RIAs’ M&A methods.”


While skill acquisition is a significant consider the inspiration behind much of the rising M&A activity– connecting with the desire to accomplish scale and much better organizational performance amongst recognized and broadening RIAs– it was discovered to be considerably lesser than the pursuit of geographical and customer development chances. Likewise inspiring M&A were a desire to increase total profits, revenue and variety.

Forty-five percent of all RIAs stated they prepare for making some sort of acquisition in 2022, be it another company or a group of breakaway consultants.


Even with the spectacular outcomes being accomplished through M&A, the typical RIA thinks that one-third of their total development in 2022 will originate from natural development activities– and broadening RIAs stated that approximately half of their development will be created naturally.

Organic development is anticipated to be accomplished mainly through recommendations and brand name awareness, followed by increasing the variety of brand-new potential customers in existing markets utilizing marketing activities that will concentrate on social networks and networking occasions, both virtual and personally.

Contributions to publications such as this one, paid marketing, podcasts, direct mailing and standard media will likewise be utilized to drive natural development in brand-new and current markets.


The accept of marketing and brand name awareness represents a shift for numerous RIAs, according to the report, much of which have actually counted on one-to-one customer acquisition methods instead of wider “one-to-many” marketing techniques.

In the 2nd quarter of this year, an upgrade to the RIA Edge research study will check out marketing and natural development in higher information.

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