RIA Leaders 2020: Top 15 firms by number of advisors
Most of the largest fee-only RIAs would likely qualify as small businesses. At least terms in staffing.
Just three RIAs out of 2,225 nationwide considered for the 2020 RIA Leaders ranking have more than 100 advisors.
The listing of the top 15 by the number of investment adviser representatives includes one firm from Manhattan, Kansas, but none from New York City, according to RIA Leaders data, which was compiled by Financial Planning and compliance consultant RIA in a Box.
Our RIA Leaders list includes some of the best known RIAs, such as Mercer Advisors, Personal Capital, Savant Wealth Management, AdvicePeriod and Abacus Wealth Partners. The criteria required that firms state on their Form ADV that they don’t take commissions or retain broker-dealer affiliations, along with serving at least 50% individual or high-net-worth clients.
All but one of the top 15 have more than $1 billion in assets under management, but only five of them have more than 100 employees. Firms with 50 or fewer non-clerical employees represent 88% of the nearly 13,000 SEC-registered RIAs, and 57% have 10 or fewer, according to the 2019 Evolution Revolution report.
The strict criteria provides a glimpse into firms and practices that specifically provide financial planning services to retail clients on a fee-only basis. The top 15 by the largest number of advisors have only 1,187 IARs — a fraction of those affiliated with the largest wealth managers — but manage a combined $95.7 billion in AUM.
Very important note: Rankings are based on the number of investment adviser representatives listed on SEC Form ADV as of May 1, 2020. RIA in a Box gathered the data from the SEC’s public database.